Feds Spend Nearly a Million Annually on Empty Bank Accounts

Even while howling about spending cuts, federal agencies have not acted on a directive last year from the Office of Management and Budget to close out zero-balance bank accounts.

The federal government spends $890,000 each year to maintain 13,000 empty bank accounts.

Sens. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) wrote OMB director Sylvia Burwell last week to note that "in a time where federal employees are being furloughed and many federal programs are at risk of losing funding, we simply cannot tolerate this type of wasteful spending."

The senators asked OMB "to exercise its authority and consider implementing methods that would compel federal agencies to work with urgency to close bank accounts that contain a zero balance."

The pair asked President Obama's budget arm to provide a plan of action on how they'll "prevent the continued accrual of wasted fees."

“I know that $890,000 may not seem like much to some folks here in Washington, but it is this kind of careless spending that angers American taxpayers—and rightly so,” said Begich.

Both Begich and Pryor are up for re-election next year and have been trying to burnish their deficit-cutting credentials. Both are being targeted by liberal groups for voting against recent gun-control efforts in the Senate.