Congressman Jim Cooper

Representing the 5th District of Tennessee
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House Passes Cooper Bill That Would Cut Waste

Jan 14, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON – The U.S. House this week passed 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 highlight ways to eliminate duplicative programs.

Cleared without opposition in the House this week, 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.

“Congress should act like everyday Tennesseans: Use common sense and don’t waste the money you have,” Rep. Cooper said. “The House has passed our bill twice. The Senate needs to do its job and vote so our bill can become law.”

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consolidate duplicative and overlapping programs; to eliminate waste and inefficiency; and to terminate lower-priority, outdated and unnecessary programs.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. Last year’s report found 66 actions across 24 areas where agencies may be able to achieve greater efficiency or effectiveness.