The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has asked the Treasury, the Transportation Department and 15 other federal agencies to identify unnecessary or wasteful programs that could be eliminated as an alternative to the spending cuts mandated by sequestration.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., made the requests in letters sent to each agency on Thursday.

“We cannot avert sequestration without a plan to end the undisciplined and unsustainable federal spending that resulted in the sequester in the first place,” he told the heads of the agencies. “I am writing to request your assistance in identifying such programs.”

In his letter to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Issa said the committee “has catalogued hundreds of recommendations from the community of inspectors general to reduce waste and improve efficiency throughout the federal bureaucracy,” adding, “Many of their recommendations can be implemented in the short term.”

He asked LaHood to provide a “targeted list of programmatic spending reductions that would be more beneficial to the American people than the across-the-board sequestration” and “a list of programs no longer necessary to meet the goals of the agency.”

Issa also sent LaHood and other agency heads four pages of guidance on how to respond to committee document requests, including definitions of “document,” and “communication” as well as “identify” and “employee.”

Subscribe Now

Independent and authoritative analysis and perspective for the bond buying industry.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.