National Taxpayers Union (NTU) is leading seven good-government groups in urging the leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee to include the Taxpayers Right-To-Know Act in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This bipartisan, bicameral legislation would ensure that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) finishes its work on creating a public and regularly updated inventory of federal programs, a requirement first passed into law a decade ago.
Read the full letter below.
Dear Chairman Inhofe and Ranking Member Reed:
On behalf of the undersigned organizations, representing millions of Americans and good-government advocates across the country, we urge you to include SA 2233 from Senator Lankford, the Taxpayers Right-To-Know Act, in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). We appreciate that your Committee works to ensure each year’s NDAA is a bipartisan exercise, and we believe that this bipartisan amendment - cosponsored by Senators Enzi, Hassan, and Sinema - merits inclusion in the FY 2021 NDAA.
The bipartisan, bicameral Taxpayers Right-To-Know Act would ensure that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) finishes its work on creating a public and regularly updated inventory of federal programs, a requirement first passed into law a decade ago. The legislation builds on efforts by a bipartisan group of senators, who last year asked OMB to implement the requirements of the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) Modernization Act of 2010. The House passed its version of the Taxpayers Right-To-Know Act by voice vote in February.
Broadly speaking, it is past time that the federal government developed such an inventory. Policymakers and advocates across the political and ideological spectra agree that our government should know how many federal programs exist. It is just as critical that lawmakers be able to evaluate the purposes and objectives each federal program serves for their constituents, especially as Congress has appropriated trillions of additional dollars to new programs fighting the economic and public health impacts of COVID-19.
The Taxpayers Right-To-Know Act will also support and improve the legislative branch’s constitutional power over the purse. There is a growing, bipartisan movement interested in reversing the decades-long trend of Congress abdicating its federal tax and spending authority to the executive branch. A great place for Congress to start reclaiming its constitutional authority is to ensure OMB takes a detailed inventory of the thousands of programs that exist across the executive branch.
We thank you for your consideration of our request, and we stand ready to work with you to ensure the Taxpayers Right-To-Know Act reaches the President’s desk.
National Taxpayers Union
Project on Government Oversight (POGO)
R Street Institute
Taxpayers for Common Sense (TCS)
CC: The Honorable James Lankford
The Honorable Mike Enzi
The Honorable Maggie Hassan
The Honorable Kyrsten Sinema
 Government Publishing Office. (June 29, 2020). “CONGRESSIONAL RECORD — SENATE.” (Page S3689). Retrieved from: https://www.congress.gov/116/crec/2020/06/29/CREC-2020-06-29-pt1-PgS3658.pdf#page=32 (Accessed July 1, 2020.)
 United States Senate Committee on the Budget. (July 17, 2019). “Bipartisan Group of Senators Push White House Budget Office to Publish Comprehensive List of Federal Programs.” Retrieved from: https://www.budget.senate.gov/chairman/newsroom/press/bipartisan-group-of-senators-push-white-house-budget-office-to-publish-comprehensive-list-of-federal-programs (Accessed July 1, 2020.)
 Congress.gov. (Introduced July 18, 2019). “H.R.3830 - Taxpayers Right-To-Know Act.” Retrieved from: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/3830/text?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22hr3830%22%5D%7D&r=1&s=2 (Accessed July 1, 2020.)