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H.R. 598: Taxpayers Right-To-Know Act

This was a vote to pass H.R. 598 (114th) in the House. This vote was taken under a House procedure called “suspension of the rules” which is typically used to pass non-controversial bills. Votes under suspension require a 2/3rds majority. A failed vote under suspension can be taken again.

The Taxpayers Right-To-Know Act (H.R. 598) would direct the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to post on its website a description of each federal program, including the program’s funding level, the number of people served by or benefiting from the program, and number of federal employees and contract staff involved. The bill also would require OMB to provide links to reviews of each program, such as reports issued by agency inspectors general and the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

“The American people deserve to know how their hard-earned tax dollars are spent, and the federal government should be accountable for its spending,” said Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI), who introduced the bill in January with Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN). “[T]his bipartisan bill will help identify the outdated programs that should be streamlined or eliminated to save taxpayer money.”

Agencies currently are required to produce information on program management, budgets, strategic plans, and annual performance under current law. However, H.R. 598 would expand the definition of a “federal program” and direct OMB to list all programs in one place.

“Congress has made several attempts to shed light on wasteful and duplicative programs and increase information about federal program performances, but many of these efforts have fallen short of fully reaching the intended outcome of the enacted laws,” committee report to accompany H.R. 598 says.

Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) has introduced a companion bill (S. 282) in the Senate, which was approved by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee last June and currently awaits action by the full Senate.


All Votes R D
Yea 95%
Nay 0%
Not Voting 5%

Date: Jan 11, 2016

Question: On Motion to Suspend the Rules and Pass, as Amended in the House

Required: 2/3

Result: Passed


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