Vote to Cut Wasteful Spending

Mar 30, 2011
Defense Drumbeat
Rep. Allen West Offering Legislation

You may be familiar with the Congressional Republicans’ YouCut Program—a first-of-its-kind project designed to defeat the permissive culture of runaway spending in Congress. It allows you to vote, both online and on your cell phone, on spending cuts that you want to see enacted by the House of Representatives.

Rep. Allen West, who offered three separate pieces of legislation to cut wasteful defense spending, will take the winning item and offer it to the full House for an up-or-down vote. This will allow you to see where your representative stand on your priorities.

This week’s YouCut vote is focused on wasteful defense spending featuring three potential areas of saving:

  1. Reduce printing and reproduction budget by 10%
  2. Reduce funding for Defense studies, analysis and evaluations
  3. Restrict payout of annual nationwide adjustment and locality pay for below satisfactory workers


You can vote to see which item is brought to the House floor for a vote and make your voice heard:

Reduce printing and reproduction budget by 10%  VOTE
$180 million in savings through FY16
The Department of Defense (DOD) proposes to spend $357 million on printing and reproduction services in fiscal year 2012 (FY12). While paper copies are often necessary for mission accomplishment, DOD should be encouraged to reduce spending on high quality, glossy color prints (such as the ones accompanying the FY12 budget rollout and other reports and briefings to Congress). Favoring a plain, black and white copy that uses both sides of the paper can still get the job done, and with emergent technologies such as electronic documentation the Department should be encouraged to process information without the use of paper printing and reproduction. A mere 10% reduction to this one account would generate $35.7 million in savings in FY12, reaching nearly $180 million in savings through FY16.

Reduce funding for Defense studies, analysis and evaluations VOTE
$120 million to the treasury through FY16
Defense Secretary Robert Gates has emphasized the need to fund the core mission of the Department, realigning dollars from non-essential cost areas to areas of direct mission support. One of those areas which does not provide direct support are the multiple requirements associated with studies, analysis and evaluations. Secretary Gates has implemented an initiative to eliminate unnecessary Defense boards and study groups, and this reduction would support the Secretary’s position to reduce unnecessary costs. A 10% reduction to this account would generate a savings of $24 million in FY12, returning up to $120 million to the treasury through FY16.

Restrict payout of annual nationwide adjustment and locality pay for below satisfactory workers VOTE
$80 million through FY16

Currently, all federal workers, no matter how they are rated on their performance, annually receive the January nationwide adjustment. Department of Defense (DOD) workers who are rated as “below satisfactory” still receive an increase in salary despite the fact that they are underperforming. An incentive is necessary to entice these unsatisfactory personnel to increase their job performance. This proposal would prohibit payment of nationwide adjustments to any defense civilians rated at below satisfactory (estimated to be about 2% of DOD's over 700,000 workforce), generating approximately $21 million in savings while increasing productivity in the workforce. As employees become more satisfactory in future years, the savings would be approximately $80 million through FY16.


112th Congress