Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., introduced the bill.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., introduced the bill. Paul Sancya/AP

Bonus Bill For Feds Gains Momentum in Senate

Bipartisan legislation would allow agencies to give awards of up to $10,000 to federal employees who help save the government money.

Bipartisan legislation that would allow agencies to give bonuses of up to $10,000 to federal employees who save the government money is gaining momentum.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will mark up the Bonuses for Cost-Cutters Act during the panel’s next meeting, said Chairman Ron Johnson, R-Wis., on Wednesday. Johnson committed to moving on the legislation after its sponsor, former Republican presidential hopeful Rand Paul of Kentucky, said he would withdraw amendments related to another bill under consideration Wednesday.

The committee typically has business meetings about once a month when it votes on legislation.

Paul’s bill, which has 10 co-sponsors including Virginia Democrat Mark Warner, would allow an agency inspector general to pay an award of up to $10,000 to a federal employee who identifies waste. Paul introduced the legislation last May.

“I think one of the problems we see in government is that as the fiscal year comes to an end, everyone tries to spend all their money rather than conserve their money for the taxpayer,” said Paul on Wednesday. “No one actually looks to get rid of individual waste in their budget because it’s sort of use it or lose it.”

The Kentucky Republican said the legislation would provide an incentive for federal employees to cut unnecessary costs to the government. “They would have to find savings that don’t affect the mission of the agency, or the mission of what is being performed,” Paul said.