Flake releases report detailing $5 billion in egregious federal spending

U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) released a report on Tuesday that shined a light on 50 examples of wasteful federal spending that adds up to more than $5 billion.

The report, “Wastebook: Pokémon Go,” outlines a program that accepts peanuts for loan repayments, a computer that binge-watches “Desperate Housewives,” and a study about what happens when a fish is placed on a treadmill.

“Government boondoggles come in all shapes and sizes and pop up just about everywhere,” Flake said. “Hopefully this report will be a guide to catch egregious spending lurking in the federal budget.”

With the national debt nearing $20 trillion, Flake is pushing to stop waste, fraud and abuse in federal government spending in order to save taxpayers money.

The report identifies $1.7 million for a comedy club starring holograms of dead comedians, $74 million for a program allowing taxpayer-backed loans to be repaid with peanuts, $1.5 million to test the endurance of fish on treadmills, $5 million to study the partying habits of fraternities and sororities, and $460,000 for a computer to binge watch “Desperate Housewives” and “The Office” in an effort to better understand human behavior.

Flake has announced plans to introduce the Stop Paying U.S. in Peanuts Act to end the practice of federal loans being repaid in peanuts.

In December 2015, Flake released the first installment of his Wastebook series, “Wastebook: The Farce Awakens.”

Flake also partnered with U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) on “Paid Patriotism,” a report on how the Department of Defense paid professional sports teams for patriotic displays honoring the U.S. military.