As the House considers legislation to curb government abuse this week, NTU urges all Representatives to vote “YES” on the bills below, all of which would help prevent the over-extension of government power and increase accountability to taxpayers.
“YES” votes on the following bills will be considered the pro-taxpayer position:
H.R. 1211: FOIA Oversight and Implementation Act: Sponsored by Rep. Issa (R-CA) and Rep. Cummings (D-MD), this bill would amend the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by streamlining the request process, increasing transparency of FOIA disclosures, and expanding the rights of individuals making FOIA inquiries.
H.R. 1232: The Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act: Sponsored by Rep. Issa (R-CA) and Rep. Connolly (D-VA), this legislation would centralize information technology decision-making and budgetary authority within agencies, thereby empowering Chief Information Officers to more aggressively pursue cost-saving technologies such as cloud-based alternatives.
H.R. 1423: Taxpayers Right-to-Know Act: Sponsored by Rep. Lankford (R-OK) and Rep. Cooper (D-TN), this bill would require an annual agency-by-agency “report card” outlining the programs under the purview of each agency, including the cost, number of people served, number of staff involved, and any overlapping areas in order to identify wasteful spending. Although this bill, like H.R. 1232, involves near-term outlays according to Congressional Budget Office estimates, NTU is confident that over time these measures will help provide a firmer managerial foundation for fiscal policy.
H.R. 1944: Private Property Rights Protection Act: Sponsored by Rep. Sensenbrenner (R-WI), this legislation would deny federal economic development funds to states and localities that wield eminent domain for commercial (e.g., revenue-raising) purposes rather than “public use,” as well as prohibit the federal government from committing the same type of abuse by transferring private property from one private entity to another.
H.R. 2530: Taxpayer Transparency and Efficient Audit Act: Sponsored by Rep. Roskam (R-IL), this legislation would require the IRS to disclose to taxpayers when personal information is shared, as well as set common-sense guidelines to help expedite often-unnecessarily prolonged individual audits (without affecting appeal rights) and more substantively answer correspondence from taxpayers.
H.R. 2531: Protecting Taxpayers from Intrusive IRS Requests Act: Sponsored by Rep. Roskam (R-IL), this bill would strengthen safeguards against discrimination by prohibiting the IRS from asking taxpayers questions regarding religious, political, or social beliefs.
H.R. 3308: Taxpayer Transparency Act of 2014: Sponsored by Rep. Long (R-MO), this legislation would require that communication activities funded by a federal agency for advertising or educational purposes (such as mass mailings, billboards, and television commercials) clearly state that they are produced and disseminated at taxpayer expense.
H.R. 2804: All Economic Regulations Are Transparent Act of 2014: Sponsored by Rep. Holding (R-NC), this legislation would require the heads of each federal agency to submit monthly reports detailing upcoming and proposed rules, including the cost, to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which will then be published online for the public. Further, the OMB would be required to publish annually a summary of the compiled information. Doing so would help provide taxpayers and Congress with a clearer picture of the cost/benefit metrics and overall impact of new federal regulations.
H.R. 899: Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act of 2013: Sponsored by a bipartisan group comprised of Representatives Foxx (R-NC), Lankford (R-OK), Sanchez (D-CA), Peterson (D-MN), and McIntyre (D-NC), this bill would provide a framework for consideration of federal mandates that includes additional disclosure of economic costs imposed by mandates, increased protections for those impacted by regulations, and codification of how the Congressional Budget Office determines the cost of new regulations or changes to existing regulations.
Roll call votes on these government abuse prevention bills are planned for inclusion in our annual Rating of Congress.
If you have any questions, please contact NTU Federal Affairs Manager Nan Swift at (703) 683-5700