United States Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell announced on Tuesday that the American mission in Berlin has saved U.S. taxpayers approximately $20 million over the last two fiscal years.
“I believe strongly that American taxpayers expect efficiency and frugality from overseas missions,” Grenell wrote in a press release. “I am happy to report that after coming $6 million under budget for [the fiscal year 2018], Mission Germany came $14 million under budget in [the fiscal year 2019].”
“Additionally, we zeroed-out all growth requests for the most recent Mission Resource Review, committing to a static budget through 2021,” the statement continued. “Through continuous analysis of our operations and goals, we have been able to meet emerging requirements through efficiencies and reprogramming existing resources as needed.”
While the ambassador’s statement did not provide further detail on how exactly the office was able to cut costs and reduce spending, the Washington Free Beacon reported that Grenell and the embassy streamlined operations and cut down on burdensome bureaucracy.
“I constantly think about my mother on her fixed income when making budget decisions,” Grenell told The Daily Wire on Wednesday. “I ask myself if my mom would be ok with me spending her tax money for this purpose.”
“If you knew my mom, you would know this is a good litmus test,” he added.
The move largely falls in line with President Donald Trump’s campaign promise to “cut so much your head will spin,” thereby reducing costly and inefficient regulations. Accordingly, Trump signed an executive order only days after coming into office that required the elimination of two significant regulations for every new one added.
“We’ve eliminated more regulations in our first year than any administration has ever eliminated,” he said at the time. “And that means four years, eight years, or, in one instance, 16 years.”
The White House also announced in April that it is moving to dissolve the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and reorganize the agency’s responsibilities into three existing departments in order to better streamline efficiencies and save taxpayers from unnecessary expenses.
“We have space utilization opportunities that we think are important,” Margaret Weichert, deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget and acting OPM director, said of the restructuring. “At the end of the day our goal is to re-skill the employees we have, automate some of the lower value added components of their work so that they can actually do more with fewer people.”
Grenell, however, has also been instrumental in aiding Trump’s foreign policy agenda. The ambassador is known for his hawkish stance on national security and has been an outspoken critic of Iran and the 2015 nuclear deal. He has also been a staunch defender of the Jewish people and has castigated the recent spread of anti-Semitism both in the United States and worldwide.
As Trump’s envoy to Germany, Grenell led the effort in launching a global initiative to end the criminalization of homosexuality in a host of nations where it is still illegal, primarily concentrated in Africa, the Middle East, and the Caribbean.