Congressman Jim Cooper

Representing the 5th District of Tennessee

Cooper Reintroduces Spending Transparency Bill

Jul 22, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) joined Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) to reintroduce H.R. 3830, the Taxpayers Right-To-Know Act. The bipartisan bill, which passed the House in 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. 

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.

“We can always do better,” Rep. Cooper said. “The public needs access to information. I’ve always said sunshine is the best disinfectant.”

“All too often taxpayer dollars go down a black hole at agencies across the federal government,” said Rep.Walberg. “Every dime that Michigan taxpayers send to Washington should be accounted for in a transparent way. Having this information at our fingertips provides an opportunity to evaluate and streamline programs, eliminate waste, and improve outcomes.”

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.