House GOP frosh create waste-watching brigade

Three freshmen members of Congress have become the latest to launch a crusade against misuse of taxpayer dollars by federal agencies.

On Wednesday, Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart and Tom Feeney, both Florida Republicans, and Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, announced the creation of "Washington Waste Watchers: A Working Group to Combat Government Waste, Fraud and Abuse."

"Each year, millions of hard-earned tax dollars are needlessly squandered on fraud, agency overpayments, duplication, lack of oversight and abuse," said Feeney.

The group's members said they would take to the House floor each Wednesday to highlight examples of wasteful spending.

According to a report in the Naples, Fla., Daily News, Diaz-Balart was known as "The Slasher" during his days in the Florida legislature because of his 1995 effort to cut state agencies' spending by 25 percent.

The formation of the congressional group is the latest in a long line of efforts to target wasteful federal spending. Most recently, the House Budget Committee announced a campaign in May aimed at rooting out waste, fraud and abuse in federal programs.

Congress's fiscal 2004 budget resolution requires House and Senate authorizing committees to identify ways of saving 1 percent of the budgets of the agencies they oversee by eliminating waste.

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