Today, Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon voted in favor of H.R. 2146, the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (“DATA”), which establishes strong, universal data and reporting standards for government spending.
This act will consolidate reporting requirements and combine spending information from agencies, the U.S. Treasury, and recipients of federal funds on a single electronic platform, and will make all the spending and accounting information available online. Additionally, DATA will cap non-military travel spending at 20% below FY10 levels, saving hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars per year.
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Federal spending data, as currently available publicly is not accurate, not consistent and not complete. Nobody can really “follow the money” without hours upon hours of investigation and complex analysis. Unless you are a trained forensic accountant, it is impossible to track where tax dollars are going. This bill allows for taxpayers to track how their money is spent, supplies Congress with the information needed to legitimately examine federal spending and identify specific examples of waste and/or fraud, and caps travel spending, eliminating expensive conferences and trips.
“In the wake of the recent GSA debacle, the government spending free for all that plagues Washington has taken center stage, and the utter lack of government accountability has been exposed,” said Congressman McKeon. “The fact that government agencies were able to put on lavish conferences filled with luxury amenities at all, let alone during one of the worst financial crises our country has ever experienced, is beyond my comprehension. Hard working American families are struggling to put food on the table while watching more of each paycheck go to the federal government, while federal employees are sipping champagne on the tax payer’s dime: it is unacceptable.
Rightfully, the American people have demanded real accountability and transparency in how their hard earned tax dollars are spent, and Congress has acted. This bill will provide the American people with access to the information they deserve as taxpayers, and will require that all recipients of federal dollars act as trustworthy stewards of tax dollars.”
H.R. 2146 was passed with bipartisan support by voice vote.