Congress Can Save $30 Billion More from the THUD Bill

At $54 billion, the Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill contains a lot of excessive spending.  Of course, while the Senate bill is far more egregious than the House bill ($44.1 billion) and blows through sequestration spending caps, both bills could save more.

The folks in Congress should be aware that our nation is nearly $17 trillion in debt.  The Heritage Foundation’s Emily Goff identified several ways in which Congress could substantially cut wasteful spending in this appropriations bill.

A number of programs should be terminated or eliminated altogether; others should be privatized; still others should have their funding reduced.  Below are Heritage’s suggestions:

  • Terminate the Essential Air Service (EAS) program: $100 million.
  • Privatize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA): $11.8 billion. 
  • Reduce funding for the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) by 25 percent: $800 million. 
  • Close down the Appalachian Regional Commission and eliminate its funding: $3 million. 
  • Privatize Amtrak: $950 million. 
  • Terminate the Federal Transit Administration after phasing out the federal transit program over five years: $2.29 billion.
  • Eliminate subsidies to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA): $125 million.
  • Privatize the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation: $31 million. 
  • Limit Highway Trust Fund (HTF) spending to level of revenue: $12 billion. 
  • Close down the Maritime Administration (MARAD): $325 million. 
  • Eliminate the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program: $1.6 billion. 

Many of these programs are outdated, such as the Maritime Administration, which was created in 1950 and today actually reduces competitiveness in U.S. shipping and shipbuilding industries.  Other programs, like the Community Development Block Grant and the Appalacian Regional Commission are duplicative of other federal programs.  Still others should be privatized, as the private sector is fully capable of fulfilling their functions and doing so would save taxpayers a great deal of money.

The bottom line: Congress should never miss an opportunity to save taxpayers money.

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