Congressman Jim Cooper

Representing the 5th District of Tennessee

Cooper Reform Bill Clears Committee

Jul 22, 2015
Press Release
Anti-Waste Measure Passed House in Last Session of Congress

WASHINGTON – A bill introduced by U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-5) and U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg (MI-7) that would require the federal government to find ways to eliminate duplicative programs today passed the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Cleared without opposition in committee this morning, the Taxpayers Right-to-Know Act also unanimously passed the House in the last session of Congress. The bill would compel each federal agency to publish an annual report card for every program.

“Taxpayers watch what they spend, so why can’t Congress?” Rep. Cooper said. “The House has already passed our bill once, and I’m glad it’s picking up steam again. Now it needs to become law.”

“The tentacles of duplicative, wasteful programs are far-reaching inside the federal government,” Rep. Walberg said. “This bipartisan bill will help identify and streamline those outdated programs that have lost their intended purpose or impact so we stop throwing away the American people’s hard-earned tax dollars.”

Each government program would be identified and reports would outline:

  • Total administrative costs of the program;
  • Total expenditures for services;
  • Total number of beneficiaries who receive assistance from the program; and
  • An estimate of the number of staff who administer the program, including contractor staff.

Each report also would include:

  • A listing of other programs within the agency with duplicative or overlapping missions and services;
  • The latest performance reviews for the program, including the metrics used to review the program;
  • The latest improper payment rate for the program, including fraudulent payments; and
  • The total amount of unspent and unobligated program funds held by the agency and grant recipients.

This information would be updated annually and posted online, along with recommendations to consolidate duplicative and overlapping programs; to eliminate waste and inefficiency; and to terminate lower-priority, outdated and unnecessary programs.

The bill is based on the annual report from the Government Accountability Office on government duplication, waste and mismanagement. This year’s report found 66 actions across 24 areas where agencies may be able to achieve greater efficiency or effectiveness.