Rep. Salmon Launches 2016 Shrink our Spending Initiative

Mar 24, 2016
Press Release
First Bill Defunds Executive Branch Training on How to Answer Congressional Questions

Washington, D.C. — Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) today announced the relaunch of his well-known and successful Shrink our Spending (SOS) initiative to highlight and cut wasteful and duplicative programs in the federal government.  In early 2014, Rep. Salmon pitched the SOS initiative to a town hall with over 200 East Valley residents.  Today, he announced the first bill in the 2016 SOS initiative that would defund special classes at the State Department that train potential Congressional witnesses on how to speak to Congress.

“Each year, I propose cuts to wasteful programs that hardly serve the taxpayers.  Many times, I’ve found agencies that were created with laudable goals, but have since become outdated or duplicative.  That’s not the case here.  This year’s first SOS bill is aimed at the Department of State’s training grants for congressional testimony.

“When Congress calls government bureaucrats to testify on their actions while in the government’s employ, we don’t need rehearsed and conditioned responses programmed by higher-ups trying to hide questionable activities.  Sadly, that’s exactly what the State Department is trying to do with its $545,000 contract for this training.  It would be a disservice to the taxpayer to not point out a simple, yet damning, fact regarding this training-- the contract was initially awarded in June of 2014, just weeks after the creation of the House Select Committee on Benghazi.

“Sunlight is the best disinfectant and the truth is simple.  Let’s end this wasteful spending now.”

Background: Entitled ‘Communicating with Congress: Briefing and Testifying,’ this course was built for government professionals who testify before Congress or brief members or staffers.  In addition to general training, a course was requested to deliver hour-long, one-on-one simulated congressional hearing sessions with feedback for other individuals, including “senior-ranking government officials” as preparation for anticipated congressional testimony.  The total program cost in 2014 was $545,000.

For full bill information, click here.  For the original Department of State solicitation, click here.

Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific. He is also a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
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