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From the Desk of Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy - May 21, 2010

McCarthy Votes to Cut Government Waste

Recently, Congress passed, and I supported, the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act.  This legislation, which was signed into law by President Obama on July 22, 2010, will reduce waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer dollars by cutting out improper and excessive payments from federal agency spending.   In addition, the bill will help identify, reduce and eliminate improper payments, as well as recover lost funds that federal agencies have spent improperly.  

According to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), federal agencies spent $98 billion of taxpayer funds on improper payments in 2009.  That is more than double the total budget for the Department of Homeland Security.   This bill is a critical step in cracking down on the waste of taxpayer dollars.  It provides the transparency and accountability that the American people deserve.   

The Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act will require agencies to develop and report on action plans to avoid future wasteful spending.  It will lower the threshold for reporting improper payments, increase audits to hold agencies accountable and make top agency managers responsible for reducing improper payments.   

In today’s economy, we must take steps to be more fiscally responsible.   This bill is about holding the federal government responsible when using taxpayer dollars.   We must continue to pass legislation that combats wasteful spending and ensures that taxpayer dollars are being used efficiently.