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Senator Lankford Bills Promoting Government Transparency Pass Committee

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford’s (R-OK) bipartisan, bicameral government transparency bill, The Taxpayers Right-to-Know Act (S. 2177), passed out of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) today. The bill would require the federal government to make public the details, costs, and assessments related to every federal program. Currently, taxpayers send their hard-earned dollars to Washington and never really know how they are used, where they go, and the effectiveness of the programs they fund.

“The Taxpayers Right-to-Know Act provides taxpayers, Congress, federal agencies, and watchdog organizations the tools necessary to root out duplication and waste,” said Lankford. “This is commonsense legislation that will enable the American people to know how their tax dollars are being spent and the effectiveness of each program. I applaud the Committee’s unanimous support of the bill today, and I look forward to its swift passage by the full Senate in the days ahead.” 

Last week, Lankford along with Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and Joni Ernst (R-IA) introduced The Taxpayers Right-to-Know Act, which was endorsed by the Data Coalition.

The Taxpayers Right-to-Know Act was listed in the 2019 edition of Lankford’s annual government waste report, Federal Fumbles: ways the federal government dropped the ball (page 20).  

The Committee also passed today Senator Lankford’s legislation that allows federal agencies to quickly hire recent college graduates (S. 2169). This bill was requested by the Office of Personal Management in October of 2018 and clarifies a provision included in the FY19 National Defense Authorization Act giving agencies the authority to directly hire former interns to full-time positions. The Committee also passed a good-governance bill sponsored by Lankford (S. 2183) that requires the Comptroller General of the United States to analyze pending legislation to prevent duplication of and overlap with existing federal programs, offices, and initiatives.

Lankford is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management within the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. The management of federal agencies and their workforce falls under Lankford’s Subcommittee jurisdiction. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has consistently identified that completing a federal program inventory is a top priority. Lankford participated in a Homeland Security Committee hearing in May 2019 to specifically discuss The Taxpayers Right-to-Know Act with GAO Comptroller Gene L. Dodaro, and the two discussed the need for a federal inventory.