Quigley Legislation to Increase Access to Congressional Budget Justifications Passes House
Today, a bipartisan bill introduced by U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (D-IL) to increase transparency regarding the federal government’s expenditure of taxpayer dollars, passed the U.S. House of Representatives.
Congressional budget justifications are plain-language explanations of how agencies propose to spend money that they request from Congressional appropriators. While each agency produces an annual congressional budget justification, they are not often made publicly available. The Congressional Budget Justification Transparency Act (H.R. 4894) will improve government transparency by requiring federal agencies to post their congressional budget justifications on a centralized, searchable website, including on each agency’s own website. This bill would also direct OMB to keep an updated list of agencies that are expected to submit budget justifications, the date of their submission to Congress, the date the justification is posted online, and a link to the materials.
“Illinoisans and people across America should be able to readily access information on how their hard-earned taxpayer dollars are being spent. Congressional budget justifications are not only challenging to find on the internet, but some agencies may not even publish their justifications at all,” said Quigley. “Increasing transparency in the federal government is crucial in empowering the American people to verify that their taxpayer dollars are being used to wisely invest in their communities.”
“By requiring that these budget justifications are published in one central location, this bill allows the American people to ‘crack the code’ to discover spending explanations for federal agencies,” added Quigley. “I urge my Senate colleagues to adopt this commonsense legislation and improve government transparency.”