July 1, 2013 | Issue Brief on Budget and Spending
House appropriators recently approved the fiscal year (FY) 2014 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) bill, setting the spending level at $44.1 billion—a $4.4 billion reduction from the FY 2013 post-sequestration level.
Senate appropriators have blown through the sequestration spending caps and approved their more costly, $54 billion THUD bill. The House should hold its ground and resist giving way to that higher spending level. Lawmakers in both chambers could also adopt the following reforms which, when fully implemented, would achieve $30 billion in additional budget savings.
Total Savings: $30.024 billion
Slow the Spending Train
Spending should be reined in to bring the national debt—which is on course to increase by 50 percent during the next decade—under control. While the programmatic reforms discussed above cannot happen overnight, lawmakers can take concrete steps in this year’s appropriations process to eliminate wasteful, poorly targeted, and inefficient spending. The THUD bill is a good place to start.
—Emily J. Goff is Research Associate in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.
Chris Edwards, “Privatize the FAA!,” Cato Institute, April 24, 2013, p. 3, http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/privatize-faa (accessed July 1, 2013).
Ronald D. Utt, “Continuing the Effort to Curb Excessive FAA Salary Costs,” Heritage Foundation WebMemo No. 1622, September 19, 2007, http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2007/09/continuing-the-effort-to-curb-excessive-faa-salary-costs.
See “Cuts, Consolidations, and Savings” in the President’s budget requests for FY 2013 and FY 2014 at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BUDGET-2013-CCS/pdf/BUDGET-2013-CCS.pdf (accessed July 1, 2013) and http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2014/assets/ccs.pdf (accessed June 27, 2013).
Ronald D. Utt, “Chairman Mica’s New Amtrak Proposal Would Use the Private Sector to Reform Passenger Rail,” Heritage Foundation WebMemo No. 3290, June 13, 2011, http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/06/amtrak-privatization-proposal-to-reform-passenger-rail-service.
Wendell Cox, “Transit Policy in an Era of the Shrinking Federal Dollar,” Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 2763, January 31, 2013, http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/01/transit-policy-in-an-era-of-the-shrinking-federal-dollar.
Emily Goff, “Congress Should Reprioritize Highway Trust Fund Money to Improve Mobility,” Heritage Foundation Issue Brief No. 3919, April 22, 2013, http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/04/highway-trust-fund-needs-to-be-reprioritized-to-improve-mobility.
See Senator Tom Coburn (R–OK), Wastebook 2012, p. 48, http://www.coburn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?a=Files.Serve&File_id=b7b23f66-2d60-4d5a-8bc5-8522c7e1a40e (accessed June 28, 2013); and Ronald D. Utt, “President’s Plan to Consolidate Federal Economic Development Programs Is Long Overdue,” Heritage Foundation WebMemo No. 656, February 7, 2005, http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2005/02/presidents-plan-to-consolidate-federal-economic-development-programs-is-long-overdue.