December 20, 2023
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  • ICYMI: She’s Making a List and Checking it Twice - Senator Ernst Sounds the Alarm on Biden Bureaucrats’ Work-From-Wherever Waste

    Based on a new report requested from a government watchdog, Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) recently unveiled her “Naughty List of No Shows” that uncovers Biden bureaucrats’ flagrant waste of taxpayer dollars on nearly vacant federal buildings. 

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    Her list exposes that nearly four years after the COVID-19 pandemic temporarily closed federal buildings, not a single government agency is occupying even half their office space. This comes despite the fact that the same federal buildings are still being heated, cooled, and otherwise maintained directly on the taxpayer’s dime. Senator Ernst is now calling on the Biden Administration to get folks back to the office or sell off unused facilities in the name of fiscal sanity and responsible governance. 

    Word on the Street via Fox News:

    • “’The Biden Administration’s green hypocrisy continues to show,’ Ernst told Fox News Digital. ‘At only 17% occupancy at the [Environmental Protection Agency] EPA and 25% at the Department of Energy, imagine all those fossil fuels being emitted to heat and cool a largely empty building. Doesn’t sound very green to me!’”
    • “’All the climate czars in the Biden administration should agree with me — it’s time to forfeit the unused buildings heated and cooled on the taxpayer’s dime,’ the Iowa Republican added.”
    • “Overall, the [Government Accountability Office] GAO reported that the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington, D.C., and the Social Security Administration in Baltimore were tied for the lowest occupancy rate of 7%.”  

    Via Washington Examiner:

    • “The Iowa senator specifically pointed to the [Department of Education’s] numbers, which had an office occupancy rate of only 17%, as a point of concern after the National Assessment of Educational Progress found the average math and reading scores for students at the age of 9 declined substantially over the past two years.”
    • “’Biden’s Department of Education kept our kids out of the classroom – leading to historic learning loss,’ Ernst said in a statement sent to the Washington Examiner. ‘Now that students have returned to regular learning, the bureaucrats are forgetting to show up to work, and their report card shows they should receive an F. It’s time for Biden’s bureaucrats to get back to class, or forfeit their expensive, unused office space,’ she added.”

    The Big Picture:

    While our nation confronts unprecedented crises at home and abroad, less than half of federal agency buildings are occupied. As outlined in the Naughty List, here’s the percentage breakdown of federal agency space utilization: 

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    The Bottom Line:

    Federal agencies spend approximately $2 billion a year to operate and maintain federal office buildings and over $5 billion on annual leases. Bureaucrats’ out of control work-from-home habits are just another example of the Biden administration wasting taxpayer funds. 
    The House Budget Committee is proud to amplify Senator Ernst’s message—with most Americans back at their desks, it’s time for Washington to do the same.

    • To sound the alarm on wrongdoing concerning federal spending and fiscal management, click HERE to access House Budget Committee’s Oversight Task Force’s whistleblower portal.  

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