Bustos Helps Pass Funding Bill to Clean Up Corruption & Strengthen Government Oversight

With Critical Bustos Provisions Included, Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Bill Passes Full House

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17), a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, helped pass a Financial Services and General Government funding bill out of the House of Representatives. In this bill, Congresswoman Bustos secured provisions to crack down on wasteful government spending by Cabinet members and strengthen government oversight and accountability.

“As a former investigative reporter, I understand the need to hold the powerful accountable and know transparency is a crucial part of making sure government is working for the people,” Congresswoman Bustos said. “Cabinet members shouldn’t have a blank check to lavishly decorate their offices on the taxpayers’ dime – plain and simple. This bill promotes good government by reining in irresponsible spending, protecting consumers and investing in the needs of hardworking families.”

“Thanks to the hard work of Congresswoman Bustos and her colleagues, we’ve secured significant funding for government oversight and transparency in our fiscal year 2020 appropriations,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey. “I look forward to continue working with Cheri to ensure further investments in making government work better For the People.”

BACKGROUND

Financial Services and General Government

Congresswoman Bustos’ first bill this Congress was to help clean up corruption in Washington. The Reining In Irresponsible Decorating Expenses (RIIDE) Act cracks down on lavish spending by Cabinet officials and increases transparency on taxpayer dollars used to renovate and redecorate at federal agencies. The RIIDE Act was introduced after former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt spent nearly $43,000 on a sound-proof phone booth and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson attempted to spend $31,000 of taxpayer money on a new dining set. That’s why Congresswoman Bustos included language in this bill to prohibit spending more than $5,000 to furnish or redecorate a senior Administration official’s office space, as well as require any official who violates this rule to repay the treasury with interest. Similarly, Congresswoman Bustos included language that would improve government transparency by increasing funding for Oversight.gov – making their resources more efficient and accessible to the public.

Delivering broadband access to small towns across the region is among Congresswoman Bustos’ top priorities. In this bill, Congresswoman Bustos included a provision that would direct the Federal Communications Commission to work with the Federal State Joint Board to complete their evaluation of Universal Service Fund contribution reform efforts to better serve key broadband and telephone service to rural areas.

Other priorities of Congresswoman Bustos included are:

ELECTION SECURITY – To improve the security and integrity of our elections, this bill provides $600 million in Election Security Grants from the Election Assistance Commission.

CONSUMER PROTECTION – Funding for the Consumer Product Safety Commission was placed at $135.5 million – an increase of $8.5 million from the 2019 enacted level and budget request.

SMALL BUSINESS SUPPORT – This bill provides a total of $995.8 million for the Small Business Administration (SBA) and an increase of $34 million for the Entrepreneurial Development Programs. It also increased funding for the SBA’s Business Loans Programs.

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