Press Release

House Passes Cuellar Budget Bill for Better Government

Unprecedented Legislation to Assess Federal Agencies Four Times a Year, Will Make Reports Available to Congress and the Public

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Washington, June 16, 2010 | Ashley Patterson ((202) 225-1640) | comments
The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed Wednesday an unprecedented government accountability bill authored by Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28), who championed similar legislation in Texas. The landmark legislation requires unparalleled public reporting from federal agencies four times a year and would make these performance reports available to the public and to Congress. The bipartisan legislation aims to reduce government waste by shining light on how government agencies perform.
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The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed Wednesday an unprecedented government accountability bill authored by Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28), who championed similar legislation in Texas. The landmark legislation requires unparalleled public reporting from federal agencies four times a year and would make these performance reports available to the public and to Congress. The bipartisan legislation aims to reduce government waste by shining light on how government agencies perform.

The landmark legislation requires unparalleled public reporting from federal agencies four times a year and would make these performance reports available to the public and to Congress. The bipartisan legislation aims to reduce government waste by shining light on how government agencies perform.

"This unprecedented legislation will save taxpayer dollars by shining light on how federal agencies perform," said Congressman Cuellar. "With this bill, Congress can make more informed decisions as we fund federal agencies and their programs. Better information yields better results, and these reports will help us invest in what works and fix what doesn’t."

H.R. 2142, the Government Efficiency, Effectiveness and Performance Improvement Act of 2010, authored by Congressman Cuellar, is results-oriented legislation to reduce government waste. The bill requires federal agencies to set high-value goals that benefit the American people and make public quarterly assessments on how they’ve met those goals. The legislation is built on providing cost-savings for the taxpayer through more effective, efficient government spending.

The bipartisan legislation is a component of the fiscally-conservative Blue Dog Coalition’s Blue Dog Blueprint for Fiscal Reform. H.R. 2142 is also supported by the Taxpayers for Common Sense, Center for American Progress Action Fund and Robert Shea, Associate OMB Director under President George W. Bush, in addition to Congressman Todd Platts (R-PA) who has worked on similar legislation in Congress over the past decade.

Nationally, 25 states, including Texas, have incorporated some form of performance-based budgeting to rein-in state spending and reduce government waste, fraud and abuse. Similar, but less stringent, policies have been instituted at the federal level since the 1990s. Congressman Cuellar’s legislation goes beyond those efforts by requiring more aggressive and frequent reporting, in addition to a rigorous government oversight.

"This will give Congress and the public a new tool to keep tabs on what our federal agencies are doing and how effectively they are spending taxpayer dollars," said Congressman Cuellar. "This is a commonsense concept that will benefit every taxpayer."

H.R. 2142, the Government Efficiency, Effectiveness and Performance Improvement Act of 2010, does the following:

Sets Clear Goals: Requires federal agencies to set clear performance goals and establish a strategy for achieving those standardsRequires

Public Reports: Requires federal agencies to report on a quarterly basis to the public and to Congress how effectively they are working to meet those goals, including posting reports online

Holds Agencies Accountable: Holds federal agency heads accountable by instituting stringent new reporting standards aimed towards a more effective, performance-based government

Increases Transparency: Delivers to Congress and the American people comprehensive information, that is unavailable now, so Congress can make more informed budgeting decisions in the future

Wednesday’s House passage of Congressman Cuellar’s legislation follows a recent announcement by the White House that directs non-security federal agencies to trim at least 5 percent from their budgets by identifying their worst-performing programs. The President’s request comes as Congress and the administration seek new ways to reduce the nation’s deficit through more efficient spending.

"My bill will help reduce the deficit by rooting out government waste," said Congressman Cuellar. "This increases transparency, ensures effectiveness and helps assure the American people that their government is working for them."

To view a fact sheet on Congressman Cuellar’s government efficiency bill, please visit:

http://www.cuellar.house.gov/UploadedFiles/Cuellar_Better_Budget_Bill_Fact_Sheet.pdf

 

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Congressman Henry Cuellar is a member of the U.S. House Homeland Security, Agriculture, and Government Oversight & Reform Committees in the 111th Congress. Accessibility to constituents, education, health care, economic development, and national security are his priorities. Congressman Cuellar is also a Senior Whip and member of the Blue Dog Coalition.

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