Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX 28) announced that his bipartisan legislation to increase government efficiency, H.R. 2142, was passed in the House today, with a vote of 216-139. The bill, which creates a system for sweeping reforms to reduce wasteful spending, will now go on to be signed into law by the president.
The Government Performance and Results Modernization Act of 2010 is a landmark move toward increasing transparency and accountability by requiring federal agencies to establish performance goals that can be measured and reported to Congress and taxpayers.
"No one can afford to waste money- especially not the government and especially not now," said Congressman Cuellar. "It’s time that we put a new system in place to review the results of each federal program and evaluate its effectiveness. Better information yields better decisions. This legislation will help Congress invest in what works, fix what doesn’t and eliminate the wasteful overlap. Redundancy at a time when so many Americans are struggling to make ends meet isn’t just a waste of resources- it’s shameful."
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reported that H.R. 2142 could lead to more efficient and cost-effective management of government and could be implemented at $15 million per year, half the expected cost, from 2011 through 2015.
Congressman Cuellar’s performance-based budgeting bill is a major part of the Blue Dog Coalition’s Blue Dog Blueprint for Fiscal Reform. Taxpayers for Common Sense, Center for American Progress Action Fund and Robert Shea, Associate OMB Director under President George W. Bush also support H.R. 2142.
Senator Mark Warner led the efforts to get legislation through the Senate, which passed the Cuellar-authored bill with a bipartisan amendment from Sens. Lieberman (I-CT), Carper (D-DE), Collins (R-ME), Voinovich (R-OH) and Akaka (D-HI). Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) also added an enforcement mechanism that provides for increasingly stringent requirements for agencies that do not meet performance goals.
"At a time of budget deficits and almost overwhelming national debt, this legislation requires several significant steps that will make government work smarter even as it requires federal agencies to aggressively look for more ways to save taxpayer money," Senator Warner said. "This legislation also takes a first step in supporting a key recent recommendation from the President’s fiscal commission to require better data to help us identify overlapping federal programs."
Congressman Henry Cuellar is a member of the U.S. House Homeland Security, Agriculture, and Government Oversight & Reform Committees in the 111th Congress. Accessibility to constituents, education, health care, economic development, and national security are his priorities. Congressman Cuellar is also a Senior Whip and member of the Blue Dog Coalition.