U.S. Reps. Bustos, Craig, Meadows and Gianforte Introduce Bill to Tackle Government Waste

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Reps. Cheri Bustos (IL-17), Angie Craig (MN-02), Mark Meadows (NC-11) and Greg Gianforte (MT – At large) introduced a bipartisan bill that would save significant taxpayer dollars by cutting down on government waste in the form of overpayments, underpayments, improperly documented payments or payments made to ineligible recipients.

In FY2018 alone, the Government Accountability Office estimated that improper payments throughout the federal government totaled over $151 billion. Since 2003, when agencies were first directed to begin reporting improper payments, cumulative improper payment estimates across government have totaled over $1.4 trillion.

“Taxpayers deserve to know that we’re protecting their hard earned dollars and ensuring they are not improperly spent or mismanaged,” Congresswoman Cheri Bustos said. “That’s why I’m proud to join this bipartisan group of colleagues to put forward a solution that cuts through red tape and delivers real reform to strengthen the government’s management of taxpayer dollars.”

“As our national debt reaches an all-time high, I’m proud to be introducing the commonsense Payment Integrity Information Act of 2019 with a bipartisan group of my colleagues,” Congresswoman Craig said. “Hard-working Minnesotans deserve this commonsense solution to ensure their taxpayer dollars are treated with the utmost respect and put to use for them in their communities. I look forward to this bill’s swift passage in the House.”

“The level of improper payments that our government authorizes is staggering – and it encompasses virtually the entire federal government,” Congressman Mark Meadows said. “Congress has an obligation to the taxpayers to step up and fix it. I applaud my colleagues for their willingness to work on a bipartisan basis.”

“Every year, the federal government makes billions of dollars in improper payments to dead people,” Congressman Greg Gianforte said. “This bipartisan bill provides government agencies with tools to work together to ensure the government doesn’t send checks to dead people in the first place. This measure will protect taxpayers’ money and prevent waste, fraud, and abuse.”

Specifically, the Payment Integrity Information Act of 2019 would:

  • Require agencies to undertake additional efforts and develop plans to prevent improper payments before they happen.
  • Improve the way agencies identify programs with the highest risk of improper payments.
  • Require the Office of Management and Budget and the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) to issue guidance to improve annual reporting on agencies’ compliance with improper payment statutes.
  • Create a working group that will enable federal agencies to collaborate with each other and non-federal, such as state governments, to develop strategies for addressing key drivers of improper payments, such as fraud and eligibility determinations in state-managed federal benefits programs.

The Payment Integrity Information Act of 2019 passed out of the Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support.