Oversight

Coburn releases Wastebook 2013 report highlighting “questionable” spending

Tom Coburn

Tom Coburn

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), the ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released his annual oversight report earlier this month highlighting examples of “questionable and lower-priority spending.”

According to Coburn’s “Wastebook 2013,” the National Endowment of the Humanities’ Popular Romance Project has received $914,000 in funding. The project seeks to explore the “often contradictory origins and influences of popular romance” in film, novels and music across various time periods.

The report also pointed to the mass destruction of weapons in the Middle East. According to the report, the military has destroyed over 170 million pounds of equipment instead of shipping it back to the U.S. or selling it.

Additionally, Coburn’s report highlighted research by the National Institute of Health, which reportedly received more than $325,000 in funding. The research found that marriages in which wives cooled down quicker than husbands after an argument showed “greater current levels of marital satisfaction” for both husbands and wives.

“Had Congress… been focused on doing its job of setting priorities and cutting the kind of wasteful spending outlined in this report, we could have avoided both a government shutdown and a flawed budget deal that was designed to avert a shutdown,” Coburn said. “The nearly $30 billion in questionable and lower-priority spending in Wastebook 2013 is a small fraction of the more than $200 billion we throw away every year through fraud, waste, duplication and mismanagement.”

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