Jim Banks, Jason Smith Lobby to Remove Wasteful Spending from Coronavirus Package

Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO)
Rep. Jason Smith/YouTube

Reps. Jim Banks (R-IN) and Jason Smith (R-MO) wrote a letter to House Appropriations chair Rosa DeLauro Tuesday, requesting she advance legislation to remove wasteful spending from the latest coronavirus package.

Banks, the House Republican Study Committee (RSC) chairman, and Smith (pictured), the ranking member of the House Budget Committee, urged DeLauro to consider President Donald Trump’s rescission package that would remove wasteful spending.

Banks and Smith wrote to DeLauro:

Given the fiscal challenges we face and its potential impact on working-class Americans, it is critical that congressional leaders take every opportunity to practice fiscal responsibility and prioritize all taxpayer dollars toward effective programs that directly benefit the American people. We truly hope you will consider this rescissions package as it identifies wasteful and unnecessary spending, spending which is particularly egregious during the pandemic and hard-economic times we face.

The rescission package would remove $17 billion in wasteful foreign aid programs, including:

  • $388 million from International Organizations and Programs.
  • $430 million from Educational and Cultural Exchange Programs.
  • $173 million from Small International Agencies. Funding would be rescinded from the Inter-American Foundation and African Development Foundation; Banks argued that these agencies engage in “redundant” USAID and State Department activities.
  • $30 million from the Complex Crises Fund.

The rescission package would also remove:

  • $228 million from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
  • $68 million for the National Sea Grant College Program.
  • $287 million from the Title 17 Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program.
  • $2.4 billion from the Advanced Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program.
  • $406 million from the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program.
  • $6 million from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. This is one of the few examples of a think tank that receives direct federal funding rather than relying on private donations or grants.

The congressmen concluded in their letter to DeLauro, “We strongly urge you to report out of Committee legislation that will successfully remove this wasteful spending from the federal budget. We highly encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to safeguard taxpayer dollars.”

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

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