Congressman Russell Continues to Fight for the Taxpayer
Washington, DC – Last week, Congressman Steve Russell (OK-5) introduced two more cost cutting bills, H.R. 3022 and H.R. 3023.
H.R. 3022 would prohibit federal agencies from awarding discretionary grants to colleges and universities that include overhead or administrative fees. Most Americans would immediately stop giving to a charity that took more than half of their donations to fund administrative expenses. Yet this is what is happening on a grand scale in the American education system, and the taxpayer is being taken to the cleaners. All across America, colleges and universities are charging the taxpayer an average of 52% for overhead while using federal funds to conduct research. Colleges and universities received more than $11 billion in indirect costs from the federal government in 2015 alone. The total indirect costs collected by colleges and universities since 2011 is $55 billion. Why we allow institutions to charge the government to take the government’s grants no one can logically answer. H.R. 3022 will go a long way in ending this academic welfare, ensuring that research grants are used for their intended purpose and helping to free up taxpayer money that could be going toward paying off our $20 trillion national debt.
H.R. 3023 would amend Title 38 of the United States Code to eliminate the authority of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to pay reporting fees to educational institutions for servicing the G.I. Bill. The Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, commonly known as the G.I. Bill, was designed to help our veterans attend educational institutions as a thank you for their service to our nation. The G.I. Bill is well-known as it has helped millions of veterans access education since its inception. What is not well-known is that educational institutions receive a $12 reporting fee per enrolled G.I. Bill veteran, and these fees amount to millions of dollars every year. President Trump’s budget proposal estimates the taxpayer will pay educational institutions more than $9 million in FY16, FY17, and FY18 just to accept G.I. Bill funds. The costs involved in servicing the G.I. Bill should be considered as the cost of doing business for participating educational institutions. Taxpayers should not have to pay these institutions millions of dollars more just to accept taxpayer money to educate veterans.
Congressman Russell has now introduced 11 cost cutting bills this Congress, which if enacted would save the taxpayer $28.5 billion. His legislation has saved $4 billion thus far, and he has published seven editions of his Waste Watch report highlighting a total of more than $300 billion in wasteful government spending.
To hear Congressman Russell discuss government waste, watch his recent speech delivered on the House Floor: