Economic Development Agency is a waste of money, senator says

Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., a tea party stalwart dedicated to reducing the size of the government, has set his sights on the Economic Development Administration.

The EDA was founded in 1965 to help promote economic competitiveness and create jobs, but DeMint says it wastes money with the promotion of "pet projects."

"A review of the EDA's grants makes clear that, just like the stimulus, this program too often has used federal dollars to fund pet projects that have little relation to the national interest," DeMint writes in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal.

DeMint cites examples that he believes are akin to "bridges to nowhere and teapot museums." The EDA, he writes, is responsible for projects like building a $2 million wine tasting room and gift shop in Washington state, and spending $1.5 million to promote tourism in the Northern Mariana Islands.

But it's not just frivolous programs that make the EDA wasteful, he says. The EDA's efforts also duplicate existing federal programs, like the $49 million that went to support flooded regions of Rhode Island, Nebraska, Tennessee, and Kentucky, a job that normally would go to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"Mr. Obama's deficit commission cited these same examples of duplication and waste as reasons to eliminate the EDA completely-something Congress should immediately do," he writes. "But Democrats and, sadly, some Republicans, want to give the EDA a raise."

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.