Good afternoon folks - 

This month, our national debt surpassed $20 TRILLION and continues to rise. 

Washington's out-of-control spending is what got us into this mess and it is past-due that we put a stop to the reckless use of taxpayer dollars.

This is why, every month, I award my Squeal Award, to address a wasteful Washington expense, program, or concept that needs to be reigned in. 

Squeal Award: Fancy Phone Booth

We've all heard the saying, "silence is golden." Well, it looks like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has taken this turn of phrase quite literally. 

It was recently reported that the EPA is constructing a custom-made, soundproof, communications booth for Administrator Scott Pruitt for just a little under $25,000.

While many government agencies provide areas for administrators and staff to privately consume and discuss classified information in a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF), this personalized phone booth is in addition to the already existing SCIF, costing  taxpayers far more than usual.

There is no question that classified information must remain secure, however, it's absurd that even though there is already a fully functional SCIF for the EPA, the agency has insisted on another customized sound booth, the likes of which no previous EPA administrator has used before.

While $25,000 may sound like nothing to Washington bureaucrats, and a drop in the bucket in comparison to our nation's $20 trillion debt, those tens of thousands of dollars mean a lot to us here in Iowa.

Folks, I think we are all in agreement that our agency heads must put a stop to frivolous and out-of-control spending. My office has reached out to the EPA seeking additional information. Taxpayers should not be forced to foot the bill for these unnecessary accommodations. Additionally, recent reports of unchecked private travel expenses have made it clear that we must take a closer look and examine how government agencies are spending taxpayer dollars. Please know that I am looking further into this concern.

In the meantime, I hereby present this month's Squeal Award to the EPA for their one-of-a-kind, fancy phone booth. 

Do you have an example of government waste or inefficiencies that I should take a look at? Send me an email by clicking here.

Thank you!