McMorris Rodgers: CBO report on expired authorizations reveals stunted federal oversight

With $461 billion in appropriations for 2022 associated with 422 expired authorizations of appropriations, Congress is failing to properly authorize the very programs it is spending money on, according to U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), citing a new report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). 

“This report again confirms that expired government agencies are on autopilot and operating without proper oversight,” said Rep. McMorris Rodgers, ranking member of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee. “Congress must reclaim its authorizing authority and bring accountability to the federal bureaucracy that has become disconnected from its mission to serve ‘We the People.’”

To date, the CBO also says in its August report that Congress has failed to reauthorize 1,118 appropriations that expired before the beginning of fiscal year 2022, and noted that 111 authorizations are set to expire before the end of the fiscal year, 99 of them for specific amounts totaling $807 billion.  

“Congressional committees in the House and Senate need to do their jobs to review and reauthorize expired government programs,” Rep. McMorris Rodgers said. 

Among several key points in the CBO Report on Expired Authorizations of Appropriations, the office said that appropriations for expired authorizations have increased $26 billion since FY 2021, and that $203 billion in appropriations for expired authorizations in FY 2022 are for programs that expired more than 10 years ago. 

“If Republicans lead the House in the next Congress, that will be a priority on the Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over nearly every part of our economy,” said the congresswoman. “We will do the hard work of restoring accountability and ensuring federal agencies under our jurisdiction are authorized and accountable to the needs of the American people.” 

Rep. McMorris Rodgers also is the sponsor of the Unauthorized Spending Accountability Act of 2021, H.R. 2056, “to ensure every penny of taxpayer money is subject to robust scrutiny,” she said.

If enacted, H.R. 2056, which she introduced in March 2021, would establish a three-year budgetary level reduction schedule for unauthorized programs funded through the annual appropriations process, according to the congressional record bill summary. The bill has 31 Republican cosponsors and remains under consideration in several House committees.