Several Republican lawmakers are capitalizing on the excitement over March Madness to raise awareness of outrageous government spending decisions.

The 2019 Tournament of Government Waste features entries from Sens. Joni Ernst (Iowa), Rand Paul (Ky.), James Lankford (Okla.) and Mike Braun (Ind.).

Examples of government waste in the bracket include $1.3 million to study what effect classical music has on cats, $1.6 million to research classic video game glitches, $1.3 million for looking into why pigeons behave like "pathological gamblers," and more than $50,000 for a professor to conduct a “book-length study on the wine economies and cultures of the Black Sea during Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union.”



Ernst and Lankford joined Steve Doocy on "Fox & Friends" Thursday morning to explain why they participated in the Tournament of Government Waste.

Ernst, whose entries for the "pampered cats" and "game glitches" studies made the semi-finals, said she would like to see National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation dollars going toward programs that directly benefit taxpayers.

Lankford, who entered the Russian wine study in the tournament, said it's all about increasing transparency with government spending.

"We have to be able to expose these areas, to push it out into the public eye for more transparency and to force these agencies to think twice before they try to do some of these studies," Lankford said.

Watch the "Fox & Friends" segment above, and share your thoughts and picks in the comments!


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