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Letter of Support: Rep. Blackburn's CHOP Act, H.R. 4295

April 27, 2012 J

Dear Representative Blackburn,

On behalf of more than two million Americans for Prosperity activists in all 50 states, I commend you for introducing H.R. 4295, the Consolidate Heavy-handed and Outdated Programs (CHOP) Act. Your bill consolidates the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) into a single agency, while also cutting redundant functions and ineffective programs – all of which promotes considerable savings for American taxpayers.

The centerpiece of the CHOP Act is the consolidation of the DOE and the EPA – federal agencies with similar and often overlapping functions – into one body, the Department of Energy and the Environment (DOEE). Moreover, your bill cuts redundant functions and ineffective programs, not based on partisan whim as its opponents will claim, but based on recent recommendations from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the non-partisan Government Accountability Office, and even the White House itself.

Consolidating agencies promotes efficiency in the federal bureaucracy and is critical to reigning in the size of government. In this case, the total impact would be substantial. Spending cuts could total as much as $5.3 billion, per year. Your bill consolidates 20 offices into eight, and entirely eliminates another four. It also eliminates or reduces 24 programs that are currently listed as under-performing. Finally, it requires the Secretary of the newly-formed DOEE to report to Congress annually on additional programs or initiatives that could be cut or eliminated to further improve efficiency in government – potentially multiplying the savings in the future.

While this is a step in the right direction in terms of reigning in government, there is much more work to do. Lawmakers should expand their focus beyond our nation’s energy and environmental programs and find additional areas in the budget where consolidating duplicative programs and streamlining government makes sense. The President indicated his willingness to join these efforts with his request earlier this year to reorganize the Commerce Department and consolidate several trade promotion agencies. Americans for Prosperity activists have suggested several examples of sensible spending cuts in AFP’s Spotlight on Appropriations for FY2013.

Americans for Prosperity is proud to support H.R. 4295, the Consolidate Heavy-handed and Outdated Programs Act. I urge your colleagues to support its passage and I look forward to working with you in the future.

Sincerely,

Adam A. Berkland
Federal Affairs Manager
Americans for Prosperity

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