Today, Speaker Pelosi sent the following letter to House Committee Chairs, thanking them for their continued commitment to oversight investigations and asking them to develop a list of specific cuts in the departments, programs, and budgets under their jurisdiction writing, “as you continue to conduct your oversight investigations, I ask you to develop a specific list of initiatives aimed at reducing costs, ending duplication, and promoting efficiency in order to cut the costs of government as aggressively as possible…a vigorous oversight process, with the goal of reducing inefficiency and consolidating operations, is one way for Congress to demonstrate our commitment to fiscal discipline.”
April 27, 2009
Dear Mr./Madam Chairman:
Thank you very much your continued commitment to a vigorous oversight and reform agenda. In response to my letter of February 19th, the House chairmen developed the requested schedule for regular and thorough oversight of the departments, programs, and budgets under their jurisdictions.
We are dedicated to carefully scrutinizing programs and agencies to cut wasteful, obsolete and duplicative spending. As of the beginning of this month, House Committees under Democratic leadership have already conducted more than 162 oversight hearings, and over one hundred more are in the planning stages for the coming months. This is an excellent record, building on the aggressive oversight schedule of the 110th Congress, and helps to reassert the essential independent and oversight responsibilities of the Congress, regardless of which party controls the Executive Branch.
Our commitment is not to programs, but to the goals and objectives determined by the Congress to best serve the needs of the American people. If there is a way to achieve those goals and objectives more efficiently, with less cost or duplication, then the 111th Congress is committed to ensuring that changes are implemented.
As you continue to conduct your oversight investigations, I ask you to develop a specific list of initiatives aimed at reducing costs, ending duplication, and promoting efficiency in order to cut the costs of government as aggressively as possible. I know that you, and the members of the committee agree, that we owe the taxpayers confidence that their money is being spent as efficiently and effectively as possible. A vigorous oversight process, with the goal of reducing inefficiency and consolidating operations, is one way for Congress to demonstrate our commitment to fiscal discipline.
I would appreciate your developing a list of proposed reorganizations and spending reductions within your Committee's jurisdictions based on your planned oversight reviews. These proposals will then be considered by the Leadership and discussed with the Administration with the goal of implementing the savings to the maximum extent practicable. I encourage you to work with your Committee's Republican members in the development of these options. I would appreciate your providing a list of recommendations to me by June 2, 2009.
Thank you again for your commitment to improved efficiency and cost savings in the operations of the federal government.
Speaker of the House