Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

Buchanan: Shrink Federal Bureaucracy

Jan 27, 2017
Press Release
Government Workforce at All-Time High

“We’re $20 Trillion in Debt and Going Broke” 

WASHINGTON – Citing new projections that show the federal debt exploding by nearly $10 trillion over the next decade, Congressman Vern Buchanan today expressed support for reducing the size of a bloated federal bureaucracy by imposing an immediate hiring freeze.

“America could become the next Greece if we do not take steps to reduce spending and balance the budget,” Buchanan said, noting the national debt has more than doubled since 2007 from $9 trillion to nearly $20 trillion today. “We’re going broke.”

Buchanan said he supports efforts to impose an immediate hiring freeze on federal vacancies with the exception of military, national security and public safety jobs. President Trump announced such a hiring freeze during his first week in office.

The size of the federal workforce, which now stands at 1.4 million, has increased 10 percent since 2009.

“There are many steps we should be taking to cut spending, such as requiring a balanced budget, across the board cuts in government spending and shrinking the number of federal employees,” Buchanan said. “A smaller, more limited government is in our best interest.”

This week the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reported that “the federal budget deficit is projected to begin swelling again this decade, approximately $10 trillion to the federal debt over the next 10 years.”

Former President Ronald Reagan instituted a similar hiring freeze in 1981 upon taking office. Former President Jimmy Carter also put a hiring freeze in place when he took office, stipulating that one federal employee could be hired to replace every two that left the government.

Buchanan has championed a number of efforts to bring out-of-control Washington spending in line, including his proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would require the federal budget to be balanced – the first bill he introduced upon being elected to Congress. He also introduced legislation yesterday that would require Congress to balance the federal budget before giving themselves a pay raise.

Buchanan was also recently named chairman of the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee, a key watchdog panel with investigative authority over all issues under the full committee’s jurisdiction, including health care, the IRS, welfare, Social Security and Medicare. He has said that government waste, fraud and abuse will be a focus of his subcommittee and will not be tolerated.