Blue Dogs Back Bipartisan Spending Transparency Legislation
WASHINGTON—As part of the Blue Dog Blueprint for Fiscal Reform, the fiscally-responsible Blue Dog Coalition has endorsed H.R. 3830, the Taxpayers Right-To-Know Act. The bipartisan bill, which passed the House during each of the last three Congresses, would provide Americans with more information on how federal tax dollars are being spent and help eliminate duplicative and wasteful government programs. It was re-introduced in the House this Congress by Reps. Jim Cooper (TN-05) and Tim Walberg (MI-07).
A similar measure has been introduced in the Senate by Sens. James Lankford (R-OK), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Joni Ernst (R-IA), and Ron Johnson (R-WI). The Senate has never voted on the bill.
“The American people deserve to know how their taxpayer dollars are being spent,” said Rep. Lou Correa (CA-46), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Communications. “In order to start getting our fiscal house in order, we must ensure Congress can better provide strong oversight on federal spending. This commonsense, bipartisan legislation provides critical information that Congress needs in order to identify and eliminate duplication, inefficiency, and waste.”
“We can always do better,” Rep. Cooper said. “The public needs access to information. I’ve always said sunshine is the best disinfectant.”
The Taxpayers Right-To-Know Act requires federal agencies to report on their federal program activities and provide that information to the Office of Management and Budget to be published online as a complete inventory of the federal government’s programs. The program inventory will identify key information including:
- The program’s administrative budget and how those funds are allocated;
- The total amount appropriated, obligated, and outlayed for services;
- The intended population served by the program;
- Performance reviews for the program, including any Inspector General or Government Accountability Office reports;
- The authorizing statute and any major rules or regulations related to the program; and
- Other information to increase transparency to taxpayers.
This information would be updated regularly and posted online in a searchable format. The Taxpayers Right-To-Know Act will allow policy makers to identify areas of duplication and overlap to eliminate waste and inefficiency and provide transparency to taxpayers about how their hard-earned tax dollars are being spent.