Skip to content

The Federalist: Sen. Joni Ernst Introduces Bill To Expose ‘Billion-Dollar Boondoggles’ Like California High-Speed Rail

Sen. Joni Ernst introduced a bill on Tuesday that would require the costs and timelines of massive taxpayer-funded projects to be submitted to Congress for scrutiny. The “Billion Dollar Boondoggle Act” requires the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to submit an annual report listing every project that is $1 billion or more over budget or five years or more behind schedule.

With a deficit of $897 billion projected for 2019, and trillion-dollar-plus deficits projected beginning in 2022, accounting for taxpayers’ money is a worthy endeavor.

Ernst hopes that by subjecting these excessive “boondoggles” to review, federal money pits might be avoided, and the mismanagement, incompetency, and corruption that often plagues large projects can be weeded out. Projects like the California high-speed “bullet” train connecting San Francisco and Los Angeles fit the bill for needed oversight. The California train is now 13 years behind schedule and $44 billion over its original estimated cost.

In a statement on her bill, Ernst said Iowans elected her to make Washington “squeal.”

“The Billion Dollar Boondoggle Act will require the disclosure of the cost and timeline of these federal projects, bringing overdue accountability and transparency to the process, which will allow us to identify problems before they become a bottomless pit of taxpayer dollars,” she said in the statement.

To read the article in full, click here.