GAO Faces Budget Cuts, Warns House of Potential Shutdown if Funding is Reduced
On Wednesday, comptroller general Gene Dodaro was called before the House oversight committee to discuss struggling federal programs. In the lead up to a potential vote on a new debt ceiling bill (the “Limit, Save, Grow Act”), which would reduce non-defense spending by 22% , Dodaro shared a list of vulnerable agencies already operating in the red. He also took the opportunity to point out vulnerabilities at his own agency. the Government Accountability Office.
“We would have to shut GAO down for about a month and a half,” Dodaro said, in response to a question about how cuts would affect his office. He said that proposed cuts together could force the agency to lay off 570 employees and leave vacancies open. At the same time, Dodaro said the responsibilities of his agency have only grown, as recent legislation like the CHIPS Act, Inflation Reduction Act and annual funding bills have created hundreds of oversight mandates for his staff.
“If Congress wants to have an aggressive posture on reducing waste, fraud and abuse in the federal government, if Congress wants to generate smart ideas on how to cut the federal government’s spending without harming individuals, and if Congress wants an effective oversight mechanism over the executive branch, then you need a strong GAO to be able to do that,” Dodaro said during an appropriations hearing last month.