Representatives Jim Cooper (D-TN), Aaron Schock (R-IL), Mike Quigley (D-IL) and Joe Walsh (R-IL) have introduced legislation (H.R. 606) creating a sunset commission to help eliminate duplicative, unnecessary or inefficient federal programs.
The bipartisan commission would provide Congress with recommendations for programs that should be abolished and legislation to implement the changes. Congress would be required to either reauthorize the programs or permit their elimination.
Congress needs to take a serious look at all federal programs and eliminate those that are no longer necessary or affordable in the context of a $14 trillion national debt. Creating a commission such as the one in the Cooper/Schock bill would be a fiscally responsible step that could eliminate waste, reduce spending and help restore public trust in government. Without this trust, the public is likely to remain skeptical that tax increases or reforms in popular spending programs are necessary for broader deficit reduction.