May 8 2013
For the past few years, talks around tackling the nation’s rising debt have revolved mainly around increasing revenue or cutting spending. Now, Senator Warner is pushing Congress to take a third path that he says both parties should be able to get behind.
“I think during tight fiscal times the two areas people look to are ‘we’ve got to cut spending’ or ‘we’ve got to raise taxes’,” said Sen. Warner. “There is a third way, that is through better management, better program consolidation, through these kind of initiatives that we are talking about.”
On Federal News Radio’s ‘The Federal Drive’, Senator Warner, a longtime voice for bipartisan solutions to the nation’s debt crisis, spoke about his work as chairman of the Senate Budget Committee’s Government Performance Task Force.
“This is not going to necessarily be sexy stuff, but it is an area where we can get real savings and recognize some of the very good work our federal employees are doing,” he told hosts Tom Temin and Emily Kopp.
But the benefits of performance-related government reforms go well beyond cost-savings, he emphasized. Legislation like his Government Customer Service Improvement Act can also help agencies provide services quickly and effectively enough to help the veterans, students, and small-business owners who rely on them.
“There needs to be an expectation that government agencies are going to get back and act on a congressional request or a customer’s request in a timely manner,” said Senator Warner. “We’ve all read the reports of backlogs at the V.A., sometimes now exceeding a year before a claim is processed. That’s not acceptable in the private sector, and it shouldn’t be acceptable in the public sector.”
During his service as Governor of Virginia from 2002 to 2006, Senator Warner pushed reforms that lead to Virginia being recognized as the nation’s ‘best-managed state’ by the time he left office. He says that as Virginia’s Senator he will continue looking for bipartisan ways to reduce costs and improve government performance.
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