If states and local governments don’t want stimulus money, why recycle and waste American taxpayer dollars?

Yesterday, I introduced legislation that would direct stimulus funds rejected by state governors and local municipalities to paying down the growing national debt.

This week alone, the Louisiana Senate Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations rejected legislation that would call for the state to accept $98 million in stimulus funds that the governor has declined.

Many local and state governments, including in my home state of Louisiana, recognize the future burdens attached to many of these bloated stimulus projects. Congress should use the returned money based on fiscal decisions by those who better understand their own needs – the local and state government officials – to pay down our ever-growing national debt.

In order to prevent a scenario similar to the recycling of the Wall Street and auto bailout money as being currently practiced by the Treasury Department, Congress needs to put in legislative rules that prevent the recycling of your tax money to prevent it from being used for other stimulus projects once rejected by state and local governments.

Since the passage of the stimulus bill, governors, state legislatures and municipalities across the country have taken steps to reject stimulus funds, leaving hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars back in the hands of Washington bureaucrats. My Want Not, Waste Not Act would direct the federal Treasury to use the rejected funds to pay down the national debt.

Ever since the passage of this bloated spending bill, we have seen multiple cases of waste and fraud associated with funding projects, and many local and state officials have outright declared that they do not want this money sent to them by an ever-growing and intrusive federal government.

My bill gives the taxpayers an opportunity to have their money returned to the Treasury to help reduce the burden on their grandchildren instead of spending future generations’ money on unworthy or insolvent projects.