May 11, 2022

GAO Report Outlines Billions in Potential Executive Branch Savings While Biden Instead Pursues Billions in Executive Branch Spending

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its annual report today on recommendations to “Reduce Fragmentation, Overlap, and Duplication and Achieve Billions of Dollars in Financial Benefits” in the federal government. The report contains 94 new recommendations to agencies across the federal government that GAO estimates would save tens of billions of taxpayer dollars. The report also projects that previous GAO recommendations that have been adopted by various agencies over the last decade that GAO has produced its report have resulted in $552 billion in savings – including some savings they project will occur in the years to come.

House Budget Committee Republican Leader Jason Smith (MO-08) issued the following statement:

“The Government Accountability Office’s report is a timely reminder that there are substantial potential savings that can be achieved across government, largely without Congress having to pass a new law or repeal an old one. The Executive Branch has the means and opportunity to make decisions that reduce and detangle the layers of bureaucracy within and among federal agencies – both for the financial benefit to American taxpayers as well as the efficiency and effectiveness of services provided to those taxpayers. Unfortunately, it seems highly unlikely the Biden Administration will heed the call and instead is actually finding ways to run up the tab they are charging taxpayers.

“For example, President Biden took executive action to freeze construction of a border wall at a time when his failed immigration policies are fueling the worst border crisis in twenty years – a decision that is estimated to be costing the American taxpayer up to $6 million per day to pay Department of Defense (DOD) contractors to babysit $350 million in unused border wall materials rusting away. His executive decision to halt construction of the Keystone pipeline and restrict American energy exploration and production are costing Americans every time they fill up at the pump – with gas prices recently hitting a record high of $4.40 per gallon this week. And every month the President unilaterally extends a pandemic-era moratorium on student loan repayments with a stroke of a pen, he’s costing the American taxpayer $4.3 billion – a costly decision that predominantly benefits wealthy individuals and those with graduate degrees.

“Rather than use executive authorities to reduce spending and make government less of an impediment, President Biden has gone in the exact opposite direction – taking executive actions that are wasting billions of dollars and making the country less secure and government less responsive to the needs of its citizens.”

Key Points:

  • $82 billion cost to taxpayers from student loan moratorium since Biden took office.
  • $4.40 record-high gas prices from Biden’s executive decisions to limit American energy production.
  • $6 million per day to pay DOD contractors to not build border wall under Biden’s executive decision to freeze border wall construction.
    • $350 million in unused border wall materials rusting away.
  • $3 trillion increase in federal debt under President Biden – fueled in part by executive actions.