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The White House
Office of the Vice President
For Immediate Release

Statement from Vice President Biden on Protecting Taxpayer Dollars from Excess Spending and Waste

Last week, I held a Cabinet meeting where I directed agency heads to do more to cut waste in their departments. Today, we saw reports of excessive spending on catering for government conferences. These reports are troubling and reinforce why the President and I launched the Campaign to Cut Waste, a government-wide initiative to reduce spending by making government more effective and more efficient.

Today, at the President’s direction, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Jack Lew directed all agency heads to conduct a thorough review of how they are spending taxpayer dollars on conferences. As this review is underway, all conference-related activities and expenses will have to be signed off on by the Deputy Secretary or an equivalent  chief operating officer of each agency. That way, those at the very top will have to account for these expenses.

I will then reconvene all agency heads at the next Campaign to Cut Waste Cabinet meeting in December, and ask each and every one of them what they are doing to get on top of conference-related expenses and cut waste in this area and in other parts of their operations.

Every day, middle-class families are making tough choices to make ends meet. It is our responsibility to make sure that their taxpayer dollars are not wasted and instead are used to provide the services that Americans rely on and make our economy stronger and our Nation more secure.