Fitzpatrick Bill Would Trim Billions from Federal Budget
DOYLESTOWN, PA - Congressman Fitzpatrick (PA-8) Tuesday announced legislation that would cut nearly $5 billion in federal travel expenses annually and replace it with video tele-conferencing technology.
The bipartisan Stay in Place, Cut the Waste Act of 2013 [HR 2643] was introduced into the House earlier in July and was announced last Thursday as part of the No Labels ‘Make Government Work!’ legislative package. Fitzpatrick is a member of the bipartisan group which works to find common-ground for legislative items between Republicans and Democrats in both the House and Senate.
“This common-sense legislation can make government both more efficient and can save hardworking taxpayers billions of dollars annually,” said Fitzpatrick at the announcement held digitally Tuesday. “By calling on federal agencies to cut their travel expenses in half and replace them with the video-conferencing technology we already have at our disposal we can fundamentally change the way the government communicates and operates.”
The bill would require all federal agencies to submit their travel expense reports to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee within six months, and then call on the Office of Management and Budget to submit a plan to cut agency spending by 50% by 2017. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates show that a 50% cut in travel spending would result in annual savings of nearly $5 billion, and $50 billion over a decade budgeting cycle.
“This bill would bring the federal government into the 21st century- forcing it to utilize the available, effective, cost-saving technology that’s out there,” added Fitzpatrick. “This is truly a one-of-a-kind opportunity to make a serious change that we all can agree on.”
“The use of video conferencing reduces travel expenses, eliminates time spent traveling, and creates a more productive and happier workforce,” said Ken Zorzi, president and CEO of KBZ- a Doylestown-based telecommunications company who hosted the event. “Video conferencing and other collaboration tools help people have a better work-life balance while still being excellent, hardworking employees.”
“We commend Rep. Fitzpatrick for his leadership in this area,” said Cindy Auten, general manager of Mobile Work Exchange, a public-private partnership focused on demonstrating the value of mobility and telework. “Video conferencing and collaboration tools are ideal not only to encourage collaboration in a mobile environment, but also to support a reduction in travel expenses – a win-win for federal agencies working to become more streamlined and efficient.”
The bill - which was cosponsored by Congressman John Barrow (D-GA)- currently has 32 bipartisan cosponsors (18D, 14R) and has been recommended to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick is serving his third term in the U.S. House of Representatives. He represents Pennsylvania’s 8th district which includes all of Bucks County as well as a portion of Montgomery County. He serves as the Vice Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.
Doylestown-based KBZ provides sales, marketing and technical support; partner certification; value-added services and specialized programs to Cisco reseller partners serving Federal, state and local governments, as well as the financial services, healthcare, and education markets.
Mobile Work Exchange is a public-private partnership focused on demonstrating the value of mobility and telework, and serving the emerging educational and communication requirements of the Federal mobile/telework community.