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house Bill H.R. 71

Creating a Catalogue of All Federal Programs and How They Spend Your Tax Dollars

Argument in favor

Taxpayers deserve to know how federal agencies spend their money. These reports would give the public more insight into how federal programs are run

Max's Opinion
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01/04/2017
Of the people, by the people and for the people. Ergo, the PEOPLE need to be informed about what their government is doing.
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hectord's Opinion
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01/04/2017
"An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people." - Thomas Jefferson
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Tara's Opinion
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01/04/2017
Local government (city, county) already has to do this. I would love to be able to see how the Feds are spending our money, particularly on military contract projects.
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Argument opposed

Increasing federal agency reporting requirements will burden them with more work and take resources away from administering the programs they report on.

Danny's Opinion
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01/04/2017
Seems like a way to spend $82 million dollars for the republicans to point at a long list and say "waste!" They can make their own list for much cheaper. I'm not sure how $82 million dollars to publish a list is a valid goal from the party who preaches a bloated government that spends too much.
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Lisa's Opinion
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01/04/2017
Looks like they want to use millions of tax payer dollars to make it easier for them to cut programs that benefit our citizens. When you look at a proposed bill, you have to see who is proposing it and think about their possible motives, Republicans tend to want to cut programs that benefit middle and low income Americans while giving huge amounts of money to the very rich.
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Ellen's Opinion
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01/05/2017
All of this info is already available publicly; you just have to get off your butt and look for it. Govt agencies have a difficult enough time accomplishing their missions already due to the administrative and accountability burdens on them. Make use of what already exists before you spend $82M for a Cliff's Notes version for the lazy.
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What is House Bill H.R. 71?

This bill would require the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to publish a list of federal programs on its website every year. The lists would include whether each of those programs has an application process, awards funding on a competitive basis, and which activities are identified in budget requests.

For each federal program on the list, the OMB must list:

  • The law that authorizes the program and its regulations;

  • An estimate of the number of people served by the program through grants or other financial assistance;

  • The number of full-time employees who administer the program;

  • Links to evaluations, assessments, and/or program performance reviews by the agency, an Inspector General, or the Government Accountability Office (GAO) from the last five years;

  • All financial information that must be reported under federal transparency laws.

The OMB would have to post the total number of un-disbursed grant funding in grant accounts that have expired, and prescribe other regulations needed to implement this Act.

Impact

The general public, federal program administrators, federal agencies, their employees, the people they serve, and the OMB.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 71

$82.00 Million
The CBO estimates that this bill would cost $82 million over the 2016-2020 period.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) introduced this bill to give taxpayers a more insight into how the federal government spends their money — and increase accountability for federal agencies:
"The American people deserve to know how their hard-earned tax dollars are spent, and the federal government should be accountable for its spending. It's no secret the federal government is cluttered with wasteful and duplicative programs, and this bipartisan bill will help identify the outdated programs that should be streamlined or eliminated to save taxpayer money."

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee passed this bill by voice vote, and the legislation currently has 10 cosponsors including two Democrats and eight Republicans. A previous version of this legislation passed the House in February 2014, but did not receive a vote in the Senate.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user gosheshe)

AKA

Taxpayers Right-To-Know Act

Official Title

To provide taxpayers with an annual report disclosing the cost and performance of Government programs and areas of duplication among them, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
  • The house Passed January 4th, 2017
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Committee on Oversight and Reform
    IntroducedJanuary 3rd, 2017

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    Of the people, by the people and for the people. Ergo, the PEOPLE need to be informed about what their government is doing.
    Like (94)
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    Seems like a way to spend $82 million dollars for the republicans to point at a long list and say "waste!" They can make their own list for much cheaper. I'm not sure how $82 million dollars to publish a list is a valid goal from the party who preaches a bloated government that spends too much.
    Like (69)
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    "An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people." - Thomas Jefferson
    Like (64)
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    Sure, also break down military spending.
    Like (39)
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    Looks like they want to use millions of tax payer dollars to make it easier for them to cut programs that benefit our citizens. When you look at a proposed bill, you have to see who is proposing it and think about their possible motives, Republicans tend to want to cut programs that benefit middle and low income Americans while giving huge amounts of money to the very rich.
    Like (37)
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    Local government (city, county) already has to do this. I would love to be able to see how the Feds are spending our money, particularly on military contract projects.
    Like (36)
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    I am always in support of transparency.
    Like (21)
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    If we are all more informed about spend we can make better choices.
    Like (19)
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    Without a doubt YES! When you have 'lawmakers' who pull shit in the middle of the night, it shows they think they are the boss. I'm here to tell them that they ARE accountable to me and that it's MY money they're spending! I want full disclosure at the state and federal levels. No more thinking that 'lawmakers' can do whatever the flip they want! Oh, and get to work! 110 days in 2016? They should be ASHAMED to take $174k for 110 days! ACCOUNTABILITY!
    Like (18)
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    All of this info is already available publicly; you just have to get off your butt and look for it. Govt agencies have a difficult enough time accomplishing their missions already due to the administrative and accountability burdens on them. Make use of what already exists before you spend $82M for a Cliff's Notes version for the lazy.
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    While burdensome to federal employees, ultimately the public has a right to know exactly how their money is being spent. Plus, this can be very educational for voters both left and right
    Like (12)
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    This is implementing current, good practices. The government should already do this because its power is derived from The People, their representatives & is responsible to the same. We don't want any more government funds to go missing or be misappropriated.
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    This is, itself, an unnecessary and expensive form of regulation. It will be ignored and unread at best. At worst, it will become a tool of every self-righteous politician looking to drum up some donations.
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    This feels like an attempt to slash programs that benefit the poor.
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    "The American people deserve to know how their hard-earned tax dollars are spent, and the federal government should be accountable for its spending. It's no secret the federal government is cluttered with wasteful and duplicative programs, and this bipartisan bill will help identify the outdated programs that should be streamlined or eliminated to save taxpayer money." That's right - Accountability! Government needs to be transparent, because they control so much money and power. Taxpayers deserve better!
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    Is military spending and foreign aid included in this? My fear, as echoed by others, is that this will be used as a justification to slash programs that help the most vulnerable in our society. I'm definitely in favor of transparency, but there's no indication of the recourse that will be taken once these budgets are exposed and that's what worries me. Save that money for a better plan.
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    Why would we not want to know where our money is going?
    Like (7)
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    Open books, open information from our government about how our $$$ is spent
    Like (6)
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    I HEARTILY ENDORSE COUNTABLE MEMBER ELLEN'S OPINION: "All of this info is already available publicly; you just have to get off your butt and look for it. Govt agencies have a difficult enough time accomplishing their missions already due to the administrative and accountability burdens on them. Make use of what already exists before you spend $82M for a Cliff's Notes version for the lazy." Well said, Ellen! Unfortunately, this passed the House! Let's hope that the Senate balks at the price tag! How about you Republicans FIRST getting to work trimming our bloated government down to the bare minimum necessary to exercise those powers granted you by the Constitution. THEN it wouldn't cost so much of OUR MONEY to create your catalog!
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    Easy availability of such information would make corruption more readily outed.
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