June 24, 2021

Senators Cortez Masto, Lee Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Cut Wasteful Government Spending

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) introduced the REDUCE Government Waste Act to cut wasteful spending and save the federal government tens of millions of dollars each year. This legislation would target and eliminate specific examples of outrageous and wasteful spending in the federal government, so that taxpayer dollars can be concentrated on programs that help working families and small businesses get back on their feet.

“Nevadans’ taxpayer dollars should go toward helping hardworking families, boosting small businesses, and keeping our communities safe and healthy,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “We simply can’t afford to be wasting money on outdated and bizarre programs when there is so much important work to do to help working families recover from the coronavirus pandemic and put food on the table. I was elected to this position to serve the people of the Silver State, and I’ll continue working to make sure our federal tax dollars are making a difference for the people who need them most.”

“Fixing these wasteful programs may seem like peanuts in the grand scheme of federal waste, but stopping these and other absurd federal boondoggles is an important first step to solving the ballooning deficit,” said Senator Lee.

The bipartisan Removing Excessive Dollars to Uproot and Cut Expensive (REDUCE) Government Waste Act would eliminate some of the most bizarre examples of wasteful spending. The three preliminary initiatives the legislation would eliminate are:

  • Prohibit the Repayment of Loans With Peanuts: This bill would end a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) program that accepts peanuts as payment for federal loans. This program cost American taxpayers a whopping $43.29 million in 2018 and $32.44 million in 2019.
  • Permanently Eliminate Grants for Robot Bartenders: This bill would permanently prohibit the Department of Defense from using funds to research the development of beerbots and robot bartenders. The Department of Defense and National Science Foundation provided $2 million in grants to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for research and work on robots that serve beer.
  • Prohibit Agricultural Subsidies for Research Into Bug-Based Foods: This bill would prohibit the USDA and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from using funds to research the costs of cricket farming. The USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture spent more than $1.3 million in grants for companies to research taste-testing of insects and the costs of farming crickets, despite the fact that there is limited research on the risks and the evidence of crickets’ nutritional value is inconclusive.