Lankford’s Taxpayers Right-to-Know Act Becomes Law

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today applauded final passage of his Taxpayers Right-to-Know Act. Lankford has fought for this legislation since 2011, to ensure completion of a functional federal program inventory that can be used as a tool for oversight of federal spending; to highlight good stewardship of tax dollars; and to provide greater transparency of duplication, inefficiency, and waste.

“The Taxpayers Right-to-Know Act gives us an opportunity to finally see exactly how Americans’ tax dollars are spent, for better or worse. Transparency is a vital tool in our fight to get our nation’s fiscal house in order,” said Lankford. “The federal inventory created under this bill—almost a decade in the making—is a crucial missing piece to pinpointing areas of inefficiency, duplication, and waste in our government. I think most Americans would be shocked to know that before now we haven’t required federal agencies to provide accurate, up-to-date inventory information.

“Until now, Members of Congress and the American people could not see the duplication or inefficiency in government because agencies were not required to release the details of their programs in a way they could be searched. Now that has finally changed. Accurate federal bookkeeping benefits everyone, and if we ever hope to stop deficit spending and pay off our debt, we need to take seriously that every federal tax dollar matters. I look forward to implementation of this law so OMB can get to the important work of actually tracking these dollars.”

The bipartisan Taxpayers Right-to-Know Act directs the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to compile details on government programs and the cost to run them, and publish the information online to help the government and taxpayers keep better track of government spending.

Lankford has worked on legislation to ensure completion of a federal program inventory since 2011, his first year in Congress. At that time the former Senator from Oklahoma, the late Dr. Tom Coburn, helped usher the bill’s introduction in the Senate. Since he began serving in the Senate in 2015, Lankford has also released his version of an annual waste report, Federal Fumbles: Ways the Government Dropped the Ball, which has included the Taxpayers Right-to-Know Act as a potential solution to expose wasteful federal spending.

Lankford chairs the Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management in the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. The management of federal agencies and their workforce falls under Lankford’s Subcommittee jurisdiction.