Heller calls for audit of U.S. Senate

WASHINGTON — As Congress looks to cut government spending, Sen. Dean Heller said Monday the U.S. Senate can find savings by looking in the mirror.

Heller, R-Nev., proposed the Senate hire an independent auditor to identify waste. He said it would be the first-ever comprehensive audit to his knowledge.

“By having a full understanding of how and where funding within the Senate is allocated, we can create accountability for U.S. taxpayer dollars while also taking an important step toward a fiscally austere Congress,” Heller wrote to leaders of the Senate Rules Committee. “Like you, I believe the U.S. Senate must lead by example.”

When they took the House majority in 1995, Republicans paid Price Waterhouse LLP $3 million to conduct the first-ever audit of House operations. Another was conducted in 1999.

Heller said the 1995 House audit resulted in about $20 million of savings. It found the House was wasting millions of dollars through substandard accounting methods, inefficient purchasing practices, double-paying travel vouchers and careless record-keeping, according to a Heritage Foundation report.

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