Steil Introduces Bill to Make Federal Spending More Transparent

July 15, 2020
Press Release

JANESVILLE, WISCONSIN—Bryan Steil (WI-01) is working to make federal spending more transparent. Steil introduced H.R. 7602, the Fiscal Transparency Act, to create online financial profiles for each federal agency on USAspending.gov. The National Taxpayers Union (NTU) has endorsed Steil’s bill. Representatives Glenn Grothman (WI-06), Tom Tiffany (WI-07), Lance Gooden (TX-05), and Vicky Hartzler (MO-04) are original cosponsors of the bill.

“On Tax Day and every day, taxpayers have the right to know how their tax dollars are being spent. As our federal debt topples $26 trillion, we must act to ensure every dollar is well spent. To make targeted, efficient spending decisions, we must understand how our money is being spent. My bill provides transparency to every American. I will continue fighting to bring fiscal responsibility back to Washington,” said Congressman Steil.

“The U.S. government is one of the largest and most expensive enterprises in the entire world. However, even in 2020 there's little taxpayers and their advocates know about some of the federal government's largest agencies and programs. Congressman Steil's Fiscal Transparency Act would require federal agencies to start reporting more information about their fiscal and financial health, and to do so in a succinct format accessible to all Americans. National Taxpayers Union applauds Congressman Steil for introducing this good-government measure,” said Andrew Lautz, Policy and Government Affairs Manager, National Taxpayers Union.

“The increased federal spending due to the coronavirus outbreak raises the urgency of getting the United States’ national debt under control. This long overdue bill will provide transparency for both members of Congress and the public as we look for ways to stop piling this financial burden onto our children and grandchildren. I thank Congressman Steil for introducing this legislation and hope the bill receives the support it deserves from our colleagues,” said Congressman Grothman.

“This bill will make policymakers more accountable to taxpayers, and better inform Americans about how their tax dollars are spent. I am co-sponsoring this bill because every American has the right to be informed on how their tax dollars are spent,” said Congressman Tiffany.

“Americans are infuriated by runaway government spending and want to know where their money is going. This long-overdue change will allow citizens to make informed decisions and hold their government accountable,” said Congressman Gooden.

"The American taxpayer deserves to know where their money is going. The Fiscal Transparency Act adds a needed layer of transparency so citizens can see the investments they are making in our government and determine if they are good investments or bad investments. By shining the light on government expenditures, taxpayers will be empowered to advocate for changes, if needed. Like opening the checkbook at home, this bill will open the checkbook of federal agencies and, hopefully, lead to government spending that reflects the values and the priorities of the American public,” said Congresswoman Hartzler.


On Background:

The Fiscal Transparency Act requires the creation of a simple, easy to read financial profile on each federal agency, as well as each of the components within the agency. These profiles which will be available to the public on USAspending.gov.

Each financial profile will include an explanation of what an agency does, a structural organization chart, and data on the agency’s spending. The financial profiles will also include each agency’s share of the total federal budget and the percentage each agency component accounts for out of the total agency budget. Information such as the number of full-time employees, the breakdown of mandatory and discretionary spending, and other financial information will also be required to be included.