Issues

Congressman Announces ‘Waste Watch’ to Fight Frivolous Gov’t Spending

Continues tradition started by Sen. Tom Coburn

capitol
AP

Rep. Steve Russell (R., Okla.) unveiled Tuesday the first edition of Waste Watch, a compilation of frivolous government spending that seeks to carry on the work of retired Sen. Tom Coburn of exposing waste, fraud, and abuse.

"The April 2015 edition of Waste Watch documents 10 different situations where the federal government spent tax payer dollars—or allowed them to be spent—unwisely, including Gatsby-esque parties in Pennsylvania, training facilities in Afghanistan that literally melted in the rain, and even an anti-U.S. movie," a press release from Russell’s office said. "The total amount of wasted tax payer dollars documented in this report is in excess of $117 million."

Waste Watch also includes a $15,000 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) project, first reported by the Washington Free Beacon, to create a device that monitors how much time Americans spend in hotel showers.

"If there is truly a viable market for this concept, private investors should be able to provide the cash to finance the development of the technology," the report said.

"Every year we see money spent on waste, fraud, and abuse, and I want to continue to highlight some of these instances," Russell said. "Many of these projects were well intentioned, but end up costing the American people millions if not billions of dollars with unintended, but preventable consequences."

"Hopefully, by continuing to point out these financial mistakes, we can adjust our spending habits and find better ways to accomplish the same goals in a fiscally responsible and efficient manner," he added.

Dr. Coburn, whose annual Wastebook unearthed $91 billion in government waste during its run, also praised the report.

"To eliminate government waste, you must first identify and expose it," he said. "I am proud Oklahoma Congressman Steve Russell is doing just that with his Waste Watch. Every other member of Congress should follow Steve’s lead and do their part to protect taxpayer dollars."

Russell’s office said it hopes to release several editions of Waste Watch this year.