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H.R. 72 (115th): GAO Access and Oversight Act of 2017

About the bill

The second bill President Trump ever signed into law is Public Law 115–3, the GAO Access and Oversight Act.

(The first bill Trump signed — which GovTrack Insider previously covered — was a one-page waiver allowing James Mattis to serve as Secretary of Defense, despite not having yet been out of the military for seven years as the law usually requires. Mattis was later approved by the Senate 98–1.)

What the law does

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent government agency that analyzes and investigates federal expenditures. They often produce reports known as “blue books” that analyze congressional spending policies and make recommendations, as well as perform policy analyses and audit federal agencies.

The law is short. Its primary change allows the GAO to …

Sponsor and status

Earl “Buddy” Carter

Sponsor. Representative for Georgia's 1st congressional district. Republican.

Read Text »
Last Updated: Jan 21, 2017
Length: 2 pages
Jan 3, 2017
115th Congress (2017–2019)

Enacted — Signed by the President on Jan 31, 2017

This bill was enacted after being signed by the President on January 31, 2017.

Pub.L. 115-3

Position statements

What legislators are saying

Senate Passes Carter Legislation to Ensure Government Transparency and Accountability
    — Rep. Earl “Buddy” Carter [R-GA1] (Sponsor) on Jan 17, 2017

Missouri First: McCaskill Sets Aside Party Politics to Deliver for Missourians
    — Sen. Claire McCaskill [D-MO, 2007-2018] on Feb 26, 2018

Isakson, Perdue Take Action to Increase Government Transparency, Accountability
    — Sen. John “Johnny” Isakson [R-GA, 2005-2019] on Jan 17, 2017

More statements at ProPublica Represent...

Incorporated legislation

This bill incorporates provisions from:

S. 17: GAO Access and Oversight Act of 2017

Introduced on Jan 3, 2017. 98% incorporated. (compare text)


Jan 3, 2017

Bills and resolutions are referred to committees which debate the bill before possibly sending it on to the whole chamber.

Jan 4, 2017
Passed House (Senate next)

The bill was passed in a vote in the House. It goes to the Senate next. The vote was by voice vote so no record of individual votes was made.

Jan 17, 2017
Passed Senate

The bill was passed by both chambers in identical form. It goes to the President next who may sign or veto the bill.

Jan 31, 2017
Enacted — Signed by the President

The President signed the bill and it became law.

H.R. 72 (115th) was a bill in the United States Congress.

A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and then be signed by the President to become law.

Bills numbers restart every two years. That means there are other bills with the number H.R. 72. This is the one from the 115th Congress.

This bill was introduced in the 115th Congress, which met from Jan 3, 2017 to Jan 3, 2019. Legislation not passed by the end of a Congress is cleared from the books.

How to cite this information.

We recommend the following MLA-formatted citation when using the information you see here in academic work:

“H.R. 72 — 115th Congress: GAO Access and Oversight Act of 2017.” 2017. July 1, 2022 <>

Where is this information from?

GovTrack automatically collects legislative information from a variety of governmental and non-governmental sources. This page is sourced primarily from, the official portal of the United States Congress. is generally updated one day after events occur, and so legislative activity shown here may be one day behind. Data via the congress project.