In a “major development on spending cuts, Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah and Democratic Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado are introducing a proposal for a new congressional committee focused only on eliminating duplicative and wasteful government spending,” the Daily Caller reports.
Udall’s backing of the “anti-appropriations committee” is one of the most significant moves to embrace spending cuts by a moderate Democrat in the Senate and gives the proposal momentum and cover from potential critics, insiders say.
Hatch has both the incentive and the skill to pull off passage of the new committee, proponents hope. He could face a challenge from the right in securing the Republican nomination in Utah for the 2012 cycle, and is known for his knack at reaching across the aisle.
The committee “would consist of six Republicans and six Democrats.”
At least once a year, the committee would introduce legislation to reduce or eliminate duplicative or wasteful programs that would receive an up-or-down vote under the “reconciliation” rules that prevent a filibuster.
Crucially, the committee would also have subpoena power to investigate potentially wasteful government programs.
Update: An official press release has been issued announcing the push for this committee. It would be called the Committee to Reduce Government Waste. Some further details:
As outlined by Hatch and Udall, the Committee to Reduce Government Waste would submit a report to the Senate at least once a year that identified underperforming and wasteful government programs in need of cuts or elimination. The committee’s recommendations would receive expedited consideration in the Senate. It would be comprised of 12 members, four from each of the Senate Finance, Appropriations and Budget committees. The Senate Majority and Minority leaders would each pick six members. Each member’s service would be limited to six years.