Joni Ernst Proposes to End ‘Billion-Dollar’ Federal Binge Spending

DES MOINES, IA - AUGUST 27: <> on August 27, 2016 in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) introduced legislation Tuesday that would curb federal agencies’ “billion-dollar” binge spending at the end of the year.

Sen. Ernst introduced the End-of-Year Responsibility Act, which would limit a federal agency’s spending in the last two months of the year to no more than the average it spent per month during the last ten months. Ernst’s legislation would only apply to discretionary spending; entitlement payments such as Social Security, Medicare, and national-security-related expenditures would remain exempt and unaffected from the legislation.

Ernst said in a statement Tuesday:

Billion-dollar binge buying is no way to budget. That’s why I am introducing a commonsense bill that would curtail the out-of-control, impulsive spending we so often see in Washington by removing incentives for government agencies to needlessly shell out their extra tax dollars at the end of the year. With our national debt now surpassing $22 trillion, Washington should be looking for ways to save by canceling or delaying unnecessary expenses, rather than encouraging bureaucrats to splurge on end-of-year wish lists.

Federal agencies engage in unnecessary and wasteful “use-it-or-lose it” spending at the year of the fiscal year because federal money that is not spent is sent back the Treasury, meaning that agencies face a perverse incentive to spend wastefully before the end of the year, which results in billions of annual unnecessary spending, leaving the taxpayer to foot the bill.

Some of the more wasteful spending by Washington bureaucrats that came from last-minute purchases  includes:

  • $4.6 million for lobster tail and crab;
  • $2.1 million on games, toys, and wheeled goods;
  • $1.2 million for sponsorship of Professional Bull Riders, LLC.;
  • $308,994 on beer and booze;
  • $201 million on advertising;
  • $53,004 for china tableware;
  • $40,379 on clocks;
  • $24,993 for candy and candy bars;
  • $17,900 for five tons of tater tots, ten tons of dry pinto beans, and five tons of dry pasta;
  • $11,816 on a commercial foosball table; and
  • $9,341 on a Wexford leather club chair.

Ernst has worked to highlight wasteful government spending during her time in the Senate.

In March, she labeled the Green New Deal her March “Squeal Award,” noting how the progressive climate change proposal would cost more than $93 trillion.

During a speech in March, Sen. Ernst called the Green New Deal a “raw deal” for America.

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.

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