‘Our bill ensures Congress can provide thorough oversight of federal spending, help showcase good stewardship of tax dollars, and … root out duplication, inefficiency, and waste.’
(Brian Freimuth, Liberty Headlines) As federal deficit spending skyrockets, Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., and a bipartisan group of senators are sponsoring a bill to shed light on exactly where tax dollars are going—but the bill itself may never see the light of day.
Lankford said last week that he was reintroducing the Taxpayers Right-to-Know Act, a bill that would require federal agencies to “make public the details, costs, and assessments related to every federal program,” according to a press release from his office.
Federal agencies have been known to spend taxpayer dollars on controversial programs without the public’s consent or knowledge.
For example, in 2018 the Government Accountability Office caught the Senate allocating hundreds of millions of dollars to abortion providers without taxpayers’ direct consent.
Lankford’s bill would require federal agencies to disclose their expenditures publicly so that expensive investigations aren’t required to find out how the federal government is spending taxpayer dollars.
While Lankford’s bill has repeatedly received bipartisan support in the House of Representatives, the Senate—whose job it is to pass and maintain the federal budget—has repeatedly ignored the bill and has never given it a full vote.
This is the fifth time Lankford has introduced a version of the bill since 2011 when he was first elected to the House of Representatives. When Lankford introduced the bill for the second time during his service in the 113th Congress, it passed the House unanimously. However, the Senate at the time never fully considered it.
In 2015, Lankford reintroduced the bill for the third time. The bill passed the House unanimously again for the second time. President Barack Obama even supported the bill, but the Senate did not give the bill a full vote.
In 2017, the bill passed the House unanimously once again. According Thursday’s press release, a single senator blocked a full vote on the 2017 version of the bill.
Regardless, Lankford said the bill remains one of his top legislative priorities.
“The Taxpayers Right-to-Know Act seeks to restore trust that taxpayer dollars sent to Washington are used efficiently and effectively,” he said in the press release. “Our bill ensures Congress can provide thorough oversight of federal spending, help showcase good stewardship of tax dollars, and provide additional necessary details to root out duplication, inefficiency, and waste.”