Since the merit of Congressional Wastebooks are in question this week, Restore Accountability is taking you back in time to the year 2010 when former Senator Tom Coburn released his first Wastebook.
The 2010 Wastebook was the first report in a series for Senator Coburn that lasted until his retirement from the Senate in 2014. However, the Wastebook still lives on. Senators Jeff Flake, James Lankford, Rand Paul, and Representative Steve Russell continue to carry on the annual oversight report tradition, and that is good for taxpayers.
Senator Coburn always said that he hoped there would be 535 (every Member of Congress) annual wastebooks because it is Congress’s duty to conduct proper oversight within the federal government.
The 2010 Wastebook included infamous entries such as the Department of Veterans Affairs paying for an unused monkey house, a Grateful Dead archive, and a U.S. Census Super Bowl commercial.
The first Wastebook was an oversight report that was truly unique. Though lawmakers of the past had pointed out government waste before the Wastebook, the sheer size of the oversight report was the first of its kind. Containing 100 entries, the Wastebook gained immediate traction from the media, fellow lawmakers, and most importantly, taxpayers.
Senator Coburn set out to stop Washington from spending money we do not have on things we do not need. Wastebooks help drive conversation to our country’s most serious problem, our fiscal situation.