Tanner Proposal Brings an Unprecedented Level of Accountability to the Federal Government

Jan 14, 2009
Press Release
House Passes Blue Dog Endorsed Legislation Mandating Hearings on Waste, Fraud and Abuse

Today the House passed H.Res. 40, a measure introduced by Tennessee Representative John Tanner and hailed by the Blue Dog Coalition as a way to bring an unprecedented level of responsibility and accountability to the federal government.  H.Res. 40 adds a systematic mechanism so the House rules reflect the Democratic Congress’ commitment to weeding out waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement in federal spending, a longstanding priority of the Blue Dogs.  Specifically, H.Res. 40 requires that each House committee conduct:

• at least one hearing during each 120-day period on the topic of waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement in the agencies under the committee’s jurisdiction.
• at least one additional hearing per year if an agency’s auditors issue disclaimers in that agency’s financial report.
• at least one additional hearing if a program under its jurisdiction is designated as “high risk” by GAO in their high-risk series

“That the House has taken up and passed H.Res. 40 is a testament not only to John Tanner’s dedication to the Blue Dog tenet of fiscal responsibility, but also to the Democratic Congress’ commitment to eliminating waste, fraud and abuse in government spending,” said Representative Charlie Melancon (D-LA), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Communications.  “As members of Congress, we have a responsibility to make sure taxpayer dollars are being used wisely and efficiently, and Representative Tanner’s resolution goes a long way toward accomplishing this goal.”

"In the past two years, Congress has taken steps to reassert its Constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the federal government," Congressman Tanner said. "Our resolution puts a systematic approach into the rules of this House to assure the American people we are committed to weeding out waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement in the expenditure of their tax dollars."

“We have an opportunity to reinvent government and adhere to the fiscal accountability measures that Blue Dogs have long advocated,” said Representative Dennis Cardoza (D-CA), Blue Dog member and original cosponsor of the resolution.  “This will require tough decisions.  But given these challenging economic times, cutting out waste, fraud, and abuse must be among our top priorities for this Congress.” 
“John Tanner’s legislation is a key piece in the Blue Dogs’ comprehensive approach to reigning in our deficit,” said Representative Baron Hill (D-IN), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Policy.  “I commend my friend and colleague for his work on this and believe the vote on this resolution reaffirms the 111th Congress’s commitment to fiscal responsibility.”

“Tackling waste, fraud and abuse is a top Blue Dog priority and Rep. Tanner’s legislation takes an important step in restoring the accountability taxpayers expect and deserve from their government,” said Representative Herseth Sandlin (D-SD), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Administration. “We must have a sustained and determined commitment to fiscal responsibility as we make the hard choices necessary to get spending under control and ensure effective stewardship of taxpayer dollars.”