Today, Americans for Tax Reform and its Center for Fiscal Accountability were joined by forty other groups in urging lawmakers to establish Anti-Appropriations Committees in both chambers of Congress. The Anti-Appropriations Committee is modeled after the Byrd Committee which existed in the 1940s and served as a body that focused solely on cutting federal spending. Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) in the House and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) in the Senate have introduced bills that would establish this committee in each of their respective chambers, and could be integral in cutting back on the government bloat of the past few years. In part, the coalition's letter states:
The Committee on Reduction of Nonessential Federal Programs is not a new idea – in fact, the committee existed first in the 77th Congress after it was proposed by Senator Harry F. Byrd Sr. (D-Va.). Named after its creator, the “Byrd Committee” was tasked solely with cutting unnecessary and redundant federal programs and was able to enact real reform to that end – the Committee netted over $38 billion in savings (in adjusted dollars) in just its first few years of existence.
Created in 1941, the Committee was integral in dialing back some of the exponential New Deal growth in government. After two years of bailouts and government “stimulus,” American taxpayers could benefit greatly from a similar effort aimed at decreasing the burden of government.
Your bill would create a Standing Committee that would focus solely on eliminating the redundancies and inefficiencies that add to the cost of government. While several committees exist today that encourage and promote new spending, this Committee would have the unique responsibility of decreasing outlays and finding savings. Tasked with this singular goal, the Committee could pave the way for significant spending reform.