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“YES” on H.R. 4631, the “Government Spending Accountability”Act (GSA Act).
September 11, 2012
NTU urges all Representatives to vote “YES” on H.R. 4631, the “Government Spending Accountability”Act (GSA Act). The GSA Act will provide much-needed transparency and accountability regarding federal employee travel and government-sponsored conferences through commonsense reforms.
The GSA Act requires agencies to submit quarterly reports to Congress about meetings or events involving travel expenses that use taxpayer funds. The legislation also restricts travel expenses to 70 percent of the funds appropriated in 2010 for the next five years, and prohibits agencies from spending more than $500,000 on a single conference. In addition, agencies will be required to post all presentation materials provided at taxpayer funded conferences or attended by federal employees be posted online for the public.
In the wake of revelations regarding the lavish conferences and parties thrown by the General Services Administration (GSA), it is clear that Congress needs to take a closer look at the at times out-of-control spending habits of unaccountable officials. Though taxpayers have been shocked and outraged at the $800,000 tab of the 2010 Las Vegas bash and thousands of dollars spent on private parties, this is not a new problem unique to GSA. Between 2000 and 2006, the federal government spent at least $2 billion on conferences with little disclosure or strict oversight.
Along with the GSA Act’s additional transparency and public accountability, cutting spending and reducing the size and scope of government are also needed to ensure that taxpayer dollars are used wisely. When faced with growing deficits and a difficult economy, we need to increase accountability at every level of government to be a better steward of taxpayer funds. The GSA Act is a good first step toward this end.
Roll call votes on H.R. 4631 will be included in our annual Rating of Congress and a “YES” vote will be considered the pro-taxpayer position.
If you have any questions, please contact NTU Federal Affairs Manager Nan Swift at (703) 683-5700