Congressman Jim Cooper

Representing the 5th District of Tennessee

Cooper Spending Transparency Bill Passes House

Feb 5, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, the House passed H.R. 3830, The Taxpayers Right-to-Know Act. Rep Jim Cooper (TN-05) and Rep. Tim Walberg (MI-07) reintroduced the measure last session.

Companion legislation was 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). Cooper’s Taxpayers Right-to-Know Act has now passed the House four times, but the Senate has never passed the bill.

“I hate when taxpayer money is wasted and Middle Tennesseans do, too,” Rep. Cooper said. “In light of recent revelations of federal funds being hoarded or turned back by our state government, we need to shed some light on how taxpayer dollars are being spent on both national and state levels. I’ve always said sunlight is the best disinfectant.”

“Right now, taxpayers in Michigan send money to Washington without a full accounting of where it is going. It defies common sense,” said Rep. Walberg. “The federal government simply needs to be better stewards of our tax dollars. By increasing transparency and accountability, we can shine a light on wasteful spending, streamline duplicative programs, and save money.”

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.