Congress is moving forward with legislation that would eliminate hundreds of useless government reports, including the annual review on "Dog and Cat Fur" by the Department of Homeland Security.
Senators Kelly Ayotte (R., N.H.) and Mark Warner (D., Va.) introduced the "Government Reports Elimination Act of 2014" on Tuesday, which would streamline congressional reporting mandates. House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) introduced a companion bill in the House.
The legislation would eliminate 118 reports and consolidate 200 others, which range from the irrelevant to the bizarre. A Department of Agriculture report provides a "Listing of Areas Rural in Character," and the Corporation for National and Community Service has a "Report on Reports Provided by Other Federal Agencies."
"All too frequently Congress adds more reporting requirements without checking to see if they overlap with existing ones," said Warner. "If these unnecessary but required reports are wasting staff time and resources and are sitting on a shelf collecting dust, then it's long past time for them to be eliminated or consolidated."
"This is to save the taxpayers money. It also is critical to make sure that when we say we want something reported, that it is reported, and that when we no longer need it, we stop it," Issa said, during a committee markup of the bill on Wednesday.
Warner requested the Office of Management and Budget to provide a list of all of the government's reporting requirements last year. From there, congressional committees recommended which reports should stay and which should go.