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Senator Lankford’s Good Government Bills Advance in House

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today applauded the House Oversight Committee’s work to advance the House versions of two of his bills: the Taxpayers Right-to-Know Act and the Representative Payee Fraud Prevention Act. The Taxpayers Right-to-Know Act would require the federal government to make public the details, costs, and assessments related to every federal program. The Representative Payee Fraud Prevention Act would crack down on fraud and misuse of federal retirement benefits.

“I am grateful for the House’s attention to these two important, bipartisan, bicameral bills that would ensure greater federal transparency and accountability for American taxpayers,” said Lankford. “We should do everything we can to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse, if federal tax dollars are misused or misspent by federal agencies or if tax dollars are abused through federal retirement benefit fraud. These bipartisan, bicameral solutions have been legislative priorities for me for quite a while, and I look forward to them both receiving votes in the House and Senate and be signed into law. As partisanship heats up in Washington, these two bills provide an opportunity for us to come together and pass something for the good of the American people.”

Lankford has worked on legislation to ensure completion of a federal program inventory since 2011, his first year in Congress. The Taxpayers Right-to-Know Act, a legislative priority of Lankford’s, would ensure completion of a functional federal program inventory that can be used as a tool for oversight of federal spending, highlight good stewardship of tax dollars, and provide greater transparency of duplication, inefficiency, and waste.

The Representative Payee Fraud Prevention Act would give US Attorneys the statutory authority to prosecute representatives that misuse funds when they act on behalf of a retiree who has benefits from the Federal Employees’ Retirement System (FERS) or the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). Because of an increase in embezzlement of government benefits by dishonest representatives of retirees, legislative solutions are needed. This bill classifies the crime of misusing federal retirement funds as a felony punishable by up to five years in prison, which should help deter deceitful caretaker behavior and provide similar protections that Social Security and Veterans Affairs payees currently receive.

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.