Rep. Spanberger Calls for Greater Transparency in Federal Spending

Press Release:

HENRICO, V.A. —  U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger cosponsored a bipartisan, bicameral bill to shine a light on federal spending and to help identify instances of wasteful programs.

The bipartisan Taxpayers Right-to-Know Act would require the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to publish an online inventory of each federal agency’s programs. This inventory would also provide a description of these programs, as well as information about the program’s costs and performance. This legislation has passed the House in each of the last three Congresses.

“Fundamentally, the American people deserve to know how their tax dollars are being spent. But right now, there isn’t a comprehensive federal inventory available to the public about how each agency is handling its funding,” said Spanberger. “Our bipartisan bill would address this challenge by giving Central Virginians access to additional, publicly-available information about the price tag of specific programs. Additionally, this bill would provide Members of Congress with a better assessment of any duplicative government programs. By streamlining this information, we can better hold government agencies accountable for any potential waste, fraud, or abuse—and I look forward to pushing this bill through both Houses of Congress.”

The Taxpayers Right-To-Know Act requires federal agencies to report on their federal program activities and provide that information to the OMB to be published online as a complete inventory of the federal government’s programs. Specifically, 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. 

The Taxpayers Right-to-Know Act is led by U.S. Representatives Tim Walberg (R-MI-07) and Jim Cooper (D-TN-05). A companion bill is led by U.S. Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) in the U.S. Senate.