Salmon Drops 6th Bill as Part of Shrink Our Spending (SOS) Initiative

May 30, 2014
Press Release
Prohibits Funding to the Rural Utilities Service High Energy Cost Grant Program

Washington, D.C.—Today, Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) announced his sixth in a series of bills that will be introduced over the next few months to highlight and cut wasteful taxpayer-funded programs government-wide. Upon introduction of his latest bill to prohibit federal funding of the Rural Utilities Service High Energy Cost Grant Program, Salmon released the following statement:

“Bipartisan agreement in Washington, D.C. is a rarity. So when both Presidents Bush and Obama point out the duplicative nature of a federal program, Congress should take heed. This is just the case with the Rural Utilities Service High Energy Cost Grant Program. Through the Department of Agriculture, this program offers grants to assist a select range of communities with higher-than-average energy costs. The Department of Agriculture already has a program that allows rural communities to apply to receive financial assistance for energy improvement. While Congress can take time to debate the merits and disadvantages of federally subsidizing rural energy costs, we should all be able to agree to cut duplicative programs within the same agency.

“Duplicative programs abound in the federal government and are symptomatic of a much larger problem. Congress is addicted to spending and this addiction is costing our nation dearly. With a national debt over $17.5 trillion we must make tough choices now. That is why, through the SOS Initiative, I will continue to identify duplicative or wasteful programs – that many are unwilling to even review – and eliminate them as a matter of government efficiency and cost effectiveness.”

Background: The Rural Utilities Service High Energy Cost Grant Program provides grants up to $5 million through the Department of Agriculture to assist communities whose energy costs exceed 275 percent of the national average by funding the construction, installation, and repair of energy distribution facilities. The Rural Utilities Services Electrical Loan Program (RUS) is a similar program with the same objective. Both the George W. Bush and Obama administrations have attempted to eliminate the high energy cost program. President Obama’s FY 2013 version of Cuts, Consolidations, and Savings noted that low-interest electric loans are available through the RUS to residents of rural areas served by the high energy cost program. The grants are available in Alaska, Hawaii, and several communities in certain other states, as well as in U.S. territories. Since FY 2002, high energy cost grants have received five earmarks totaling $103.5 million.

Click here to read the bill text.

SOS Initiatives:

Bill Number




H.R. 4231

Defunds East-West Center

Department of State

$ 16,700,000

H.R. 4362

Prohibits funding to United Nations Population Fund

Department of State

$ 35,000,000

H.R. 4379

Defunds National Labor Relations Board



H.R. 4482

Defunds EPA's Science and Technology Account

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)


H.R. 4649

Defunds the Voice of America

International Broadcasting Bureau


Background on Rep. Salmon’s SOS Initiative:

Click here to watch the video.

“Our nation is drowning in debt – $17.4 trillion dollars of it…Yet, our nation’s leaders continue to approve wasteful spending without a blink, and continue to spend your tax dollars in the most imprudent ways. Enough is enough. We must have the courage to start cutting spending somewhere…

Every federal department, agency and office has wasteful spending within their budgets.

To address this problem and honor my promise to you, I am pleased to announce the launching of my Shrinking Our Spending Initiative, or SOS Initiative. My SOS Initiative will push to make the hard spending cuts we refuse to make, in the areas of government we refuse to touch.

My goal through the SOS Initiative is to find at least 1.5 billion dollars in wasteful spending that can be eliminated.

As part of my SOS Initiative, I plan to introduce a new bill each week we are in session to cut wasteful spending in a different area of our federal government.

These bills will highlight wasteful and duplicative programs that your tax dollars are currently funding. And some of these wasteful programs will surprise you…”

Click here for more information about the SOS Initiative.

Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs as Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere. He is also a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.