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Lankford Offers Amendments to Prevent Government Shutdowns, Add Taxpayer Accountability to Defense Bill

WASHINGTON, DC   Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today offered two important amendments to the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Lankford offered two long-time priorities, the Taxpayers Right-to-Know Act and the Prevent Government Shutdowns Act, as amendments to the defense bill to protect taxpayer dollars, provide transparency of federal programs and spending, and prevent costly government shutdowns by holding Members of Congress accountable, not our important defense community, including contractors, and our other vital federal families.

“American taxpayers need these measures in place to help shed sunlight on federal spending and ensure Members of Congress are held accountable for failing to fund the government,” said Lankford. “The defense community was hit hard by the longest shutdown in our nation’s history last year, and they deserve to know that as they serve our Armed Forces, a government shutdown won’t keep them from putting food on the table. Likewise, transparency of our tax dollars provided in the Taxpayers Right-to-Know Act ensures we can better track federal program spending and will help identify waste and duplication across agencies. These common-sense, bipartisan reforms are necessary to a better-functioning government, and I am hopeful they will be included in the final text of the defense bill.”

In February 2020, the House of Representatives unanimously passed the bipartisan, bicameral Taxpayers Right-to-Know Act which requires the federal government to publicize the details, costs, and performance metrics of government programs. This legislation, which would increase transparency and curb wasteful spending, unanimously passed the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee last year.

Introduced last year, Lankford’s bipartisan Prevent Government Shutdowns Act would set up an automatic Continuing Resolution (CR) at the current spending level until an agreement on funding is enacted. This will prevent a government-wide shutdown, continue critical services and operations for Americans, and hold federal workers harmless while Congress negotiates. Lankford and Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) penned an op-ed last summer on the need to make the Prevent Government Shutdowns Act law.

Lankford has also highlighted both the Taxpayers Right-to-Know Act and the Prevent Government Shutdowns Act as solutions to Washington’s spending problems and dysfunction in his annual Federal Fumbles: Ways the federal government dropped the ball.