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Congressman Steve Russell

Representing the 5th District of Oklahoma

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Rep. Russell Releases Waste Watch No. 8

January 10, 2018
Press Release

Washington, DC – Rep. Steve Russell (OK-5) today released the latest edition of his Waste Watch series. Waste Watch No. 8 is the Farm Bill Edition, identifying 10 examples of wasteful government spending and programs in agriculture that wasted $16.5 billion in taxpayer dollars.

In the Farm Bill Edition, Rep. Russell highlights how the poor implementation of a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) initiative to update nutritional standards for the National School Lunch Program led to $11.6 billion in wasteful government spending as well as food waste in 48 of the 50 states, according to the Government Accountability Office. Other examples include how researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago were awarded $3.5 million by the USDA and the National Institutes of Health to remix Katy Perry songs into a hip-hop album that encourages obese preschoolers to lose weight; and how a lack of oversight and enforcement has allowed fraudulent food stamps to cost the government at least $12 million according to an inspector general report on the USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Rep. Russell commented on his latest edition of Waste Watch, stating “Another year has passed and another year of waste cutting opportunities stands before us. From fraud to mismanagement to poorly conceived but well-funded programs, our nation must address these issues. We have ended up in significant national debt by one careless decision at a time and we can get out of it by one good decision at a time. Our latest edition is a good place to start as we approach the Farm Bill reauthorization.”

Rep. Russell has 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 all eight editions of Waste Watch highlight more than $316.5 billion in wasteful government spending.