Senator Lankford Bills to Promote Government Transparency Pass Committee
WASHINGTON, DC – The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee today passed two of Senator James Lankford’s (R-OK) government transparency bills during a business meeting, the GRANT Act and the DC Judicial Financial Transparency and Improvement Act.
“These two bills are substantive solutions to provide more transparency and accountability in government spending.” said Lankford. “I applaud the committee for the passage of bills that make the federal government more open. The federal government spends more taxpayer dollars on grants than contracts—it is time for increased oversight over that process. Taxpayers who live paycheck-to-paycheck expect their government to spend every tax dollar efficiently and effectively. These bills shine light on federal spending, provide accountability and allow more people to be involved in the process.”
The GRANT Act (S. 2972)
On May 24, 2016, Lankford introduced the Grant Reform and New Transparency (GRANT) Act to provide more transparency, accountability and diversity for individuals applying for federal grants. The intent of the bill is to provide individuals or organizations the tools to apply for a grant with clear and concise steps from federal agencies. The GRANT Act would require each federal agency to post on their website the solicitation timeline to identify potential grant opportunities expected for the upcoming year. Specifically, the bill would add measures that would improve the competitive grant-making process and promote transparency.
District of Columbia Judicial Financial Transparency and Improvement Act (S.2966)
On May 23, 2016, Lankford introduced the bipartisan District of Columbia Judicial Financial Transparency and Improvement Act (S.2966). DC court judges are paid by the federal government and should be held to the same standards of disclosure as all federal judges. The bill will increase transparency so federal judges have to disclose information about investments, liabilities, gifts and connections to charities and businesses that are more than $300. The bill also addresses practical updates to make the administrative process more streamline and efficient.
Lankford has made government efficiency, accountability and reform a priority since elected to public office. In 2015, Lankford released a report entitled “Federal Fumbles: 100 ways the government dropped the ball.” The report lists $105 billion in wasteful federal spending and $800 billion in negative regulatory impact to the economy. Eighteen of the 100 examples of waste in the report are federal government grant programs.
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