Americans for Prosperity is proud to support Rep. Mike Pompeo’s amendment to the Commerce, Justice, and Science appropriations bill that would eliminate the Economic Development Agency (EDA). The EDA is a wasteful agency that picks winners and losers and doles out millions of dollars to pet projects. The time has come to get rid of it. See the full letter below.
May 27, 2013
Dear Representative Pompeo:
On behalf of more than two million Americans for Prosperity activists in all 50 states, I write in strong support of your amendment to the Commerce, Justice and Science appropriations bill that would eliminate the Economic Development Administration (EDA). Your amendment would end this wasteful agency, which has come to embody the dubious practice of picking winners and losers in the economy.
Since it began in 1965, the EDA has expanded far beyond its original ostensible goal of providing development grants in regions facing severe economic distress. Now, politicians use it as a tool to dole out federal dollars to their favorite few. For example in 2011, the agency spent $2 million on a culinary amphitheater, wine tasting room, and gift shop in Washington State.
The EDA has also shown ineptitude in keeping track of its resources. According to the EDA Inspector General, 29 percent of grant money had been wasted as a result of “various violations of EDA grant requirements such as financial accounting irregularities, conflict of interest, and improper procurement procedures.” Americans deserve to have their hard-earned tax dollars spent wisely, not wastefully.
Additionally, the EDA is duplicative of other government programs at the federal and state level. With government spending growing out of control, Congress should look to for ways to cut redundancy.
If Congress were serious about creating jobs and growing the economy, then it would leave it to market forces in the private sector. Like other state-driven economic development programs, the EDA has a terrible track record. According to repeated reports from the Government Accountability Office, the EDA programs routinely fail to deliver on the jobs and economic activity that they promise.
Americans for Prosperity is proud to support your amendment to eliminate the EDA, and similar measures to stop the federal government from picking winners and losers in the economy. I urge your colleagues to support this important legislation, and I look forward to working with you in the future.
Brent Wm. Gardner
Director of Federal Affairs
Americans for Prosperity