Congresswoman Cheri Bustos Applauds Passage of Federal Improper Payments Coordination Act

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) spoke on the House Floor in support of S. 614, the Federal Improper Payments Coordination Act, which passed the House of Representatives by unanimous consent. In May, Rep. Bustos introduced this bill with Congressman Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), which is designed to save taxpayer dollars utilizing 21st century data analytics to eliminate improper payments and rein in waste and fraud across federal agencies. Having already passed the Senate, this cost-savings legislation is headed to President Obama’s desk for his signature.

 

“At a time when so many working families have to tighten their belts and cut costs, they deserve to know that Congress is acting responsibly with their hard-earned tax dollars,” said Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-IL). “I want to thank my colleagues for working with me to pass this bipartisan legislation which will utilize modern data analytics to cut government waste and protect taxpayers.”

 

“I’m proud to have worked with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get this piece of common-sense legislation passed,” said Congressman Mick Mulvaney (R-SC). “Sometimes our government does work, and today is an example of that.”

 

The Federal Improper Payments Coordination Act of 2015 seeks to reduce improper payments made by federal agencies, which are payments that the government makes in erroneous amounts, or payments that should not be made at all. According to the Office of Management and Budget, there were $125 billion in improper payments last year, a 15% increase from the previous year.

 

This legislation would rein in waste and fraud across federal agencies by assisting governments at all levels in identifying and stopping these improper payments. It would also improve the sharing and use of key data to combat improper payments and would encourage the use of data analytics by federal agencies for government-wide waste and fraud reviews.

 

A video of Rep. Bustos’ remarks can be found here.

 

The text of her remarks as prepared for delivery are below:

 

Thank you Mr. Speaker,

 

As one of the Democratic co-leads, I’m proud to rise in support of the Federal Improper Payments Coordination Act of 2015.

 

The goal of this bill is straightforward – to save taxpayer dollars that are currently going to waste, and to make the federal government more effective and more efficient.

 

Each year, the federal government spends billions of dollars in improper payments, which not only wastes taxpayer dollars, but also erodes the public’s trust in government.

 

Just last year, improper payments by the federal government rose to nearly $125 billion according to the Office of Management and Budget.

 

That’s an increase of nearly 15 percent, up from approximately $106 billion last year.

 

In tough times, working families have to figure out how to cut costs to get their budgets in line…

 

I think Washington should too.

 

That’s why our bill takes reasonable steps to improve information sharing between federal and state agencies to prevent improper payments.

 

It also helps modernize federal agencies by putting 21st century data analytics to work identifying and eliminating government-wide waste and fraud.

 

Mr. Speaker, the status quo is plain and simply unacceptable.

 

At a time when so many working families have to tighten their belts and cut costs, they deserve to know that Congress is acting responsibly with their hard earned tax dollars.

 

This bipartisan legislation represents a common-sense approach to a problem that is costing the taxpayers billions of dollars each year, and undermining the effectiveness and credibility of the federal government.

 

I applaud my colleagues for joining our effort to protect taxpayers, and I yield back the balance of my time.

 

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