Tom Davis' New Government Waste Initiative

Although Rep. Tom Davis is no longer chairman of the Government Reform Committee (whose name changed to the Oversight and Government Reform Committee  when Democrats took back Congress last year), the Northern Virginia Republican is still in hot pursuit of the issue of reform of government.

Last week, seven-termer Davis proposed an amendment to H.R. 928, which subsequently passed the House by a margin of 274-to-144.  The Davis measure requires inspectors general to all government agencies to submit a report to Congress annually on “redundant, duplicative programs that should be consolidated, reorganized, or abolished.”

Rep. Henry Waxman (D.-Cal.), who succeeded Davis as committee chairman, opposed the measure, as did Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn), sponsor of H.R. 928.  However, the proposal was successful in the House thanks to its support from 80 Democrats who broke party lines to vote with Davis.

As HUMAN EVENTS readers know, conservatives have occasionally been disappointed with Davis in part because of what they consider too cozy a relationship with the Washington DC community — supporting congressional representation for the District of Columbia, for example.  But, in reviving a concept that has not been on the table since the days of Vice President Dan Quayle’s Competitiveness Council in the first Bush Administration, the Virginia does get a salute from small government and less-is-best advocates.