Congressman Jim Cooper

Representing the 5th District of Tennessee

Cooper Reform Bill Passes House

Feb 25, 2014
Press Release
Bill would help reduce duplicative programs

WASHINGTON — A bill introduced by Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN) and Rep. James Lankford (R-OK) that would require the federal government to find ways to eliminate duplicative programs passed the House of Representatives today.

“Let’s all say no to waste,” Cooper said after a unanimous voice vote on the House floor. “When you’re already in the hole, you shouldn’t keep digging.”

The Taxpayers’ Right to Know Act would require every federal agency to publish an annual report card for all of its programs. Each list would be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget, which would determine how many duplicative and overlapping government programs exist and recommend ways to eliminate identical programs.

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 would also 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consolidate duplicative and overlapping programs; to eliminate waste and inefficiency; and to terminate lower priority, outdated and unnecessary programs.Taxpayers' Right to Know Act

Last year, Cooper and Lankford introduced their bill the same day that the Government Accountability Office released its annual report on government duplication, waste and mismanagement. That report found 31 areas – ranging from federal drug treatment programs to military contracting practices – where agencies may be able to achieve greater efficiency or effectiveness.