On March 15, 2023, it was reported that the U.S. government may have paid twice for projects conducted at laboratories in Wuhan, China, using both the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The news caused widespread shock and concern, particularly due to the potential misuse of government funds and the risky nature of the research involving dangerous pathogens. To address the issue, Senators Rand Paul (Republican) and Maggie Hassan (Democrat) have introduced the "Duplication Scoring Act", a bipartisan bill aimed at reducing the size of the government by eliminating redundant programs and preventing further duplication within the federal system.
The U.S. government may have made duplicate payments for projects at labs in Wuhan, China, through the National Institutes of Health and U.S. Agency for International Development, according to records reviewed by CBS News. https://t.co/lOJJu89CqO
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 14, 2023
Back in 2021, Senators Paul and Hassan, alongside a group of bipartisan colleagues, also introduced the Duplication Scoring Act, which aimed to prevent government waste before it occurs by providing an additional layer of oversight. Senator Paul emphasized that although the elimination of Government Accountability Office (GAO) identified programs has saved over $500 billion, only slightly more than half of these programs have been addressed, indicating that billions of taxpayer dollars are still being squandered on redundant programs. Senator Hassan further explained that the proposed bill would target wasteful government spending by preventing the establishment of duplicative federal programs, which would ultimately result in significant cost savings for taxpayers.
As we fight to rein in current wasteful spending, this reform would better enable Congress to make more fully informed decisions by adding a layer of oversight that will help stop waste in government before it ever happens. https://t.co/QHt6GCbsOu
— Senator Rand Paul (@SenRandPaul) March 14, 2023
The revelation of possible duplicate payments for projects at Wuhan labs is not an uncommon occurrence. The Government Accountability Office has reported over 1,100 instances of redundant programs in the past 12 years. This has caused significant worry for the public, as it implies that their tax dollars are being squandered on superfluous projects and programs.
The Duplication Scoring Act is a positive development in the effort to address the problem of redundant programs. It is a bipartisan proposal designed to reduce the scope of government by eliminating duplicative programs and averting future redundancy within the federal system. By introducing an additional level of supervision, the bill aims to prevent government waste proactively, resulting in substantial cost savings for taxpayers in the long term.
It is evident that the U.S. government must take decisive measures to avoid the recurrence of redundant programs and initiatives, thereby conserving taxpayers' funds. The Duplication Scoring Act represents a promising beginning to tackling this problem and is expected to receive congressional approval promptly.