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Quigley Transparency Legislation Heads to Biden for Signature

Aug 24, 2021
Press Release

U.S. Representative Mike Quigley’s (IL-05) legislation the Congressional Budget Justification Transparency Act is headed to President Joe Biden’s desk for signature after passing both the House and Senate on Monday. The bipartisan bill, introduced on the first day of the 117th Congress by Quigley, co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Transparency Caucus, and Representative James Comer (KY-01), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, will increase access to the federal government’s expenditures. In the Senate, the legislation is led by Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and Rob Portman (R-OH).

“Our constituents should know how Congress is spending their tax dollars. Making the Congressional Budget Justification Transparency Act the law of the land is one critical step toward making our federal government more transparent and accessible,” said Quigley. “I’m thrilled to see this legislation heading to the President’s desk. I hope that providing Americans with access to this information will help rebuild the public’s trust in our government.”

“The American people must be in the drivers’ seat when it comes to their government, especially how it plans to spend their money. For too long, the budget process has lurked in the shadows. The Congressional Budget Justification Transparency Act, once signed into law, will make the budget process more transparent and accessible to the American people. This commonsense legislation requires all federal agency budget justifications to be located in one centralized, searchable website. This will allow the American people to understand how their taxpayer dollars will be spent and hold the government and its vast bureaucracy accountable. I appreciate the leadership of Congressman Quigley in working with me to quickly pass the House version of this legislation in early January of this year, and I look forward to the President finally signing this legislation into law now that the Senate has acted,” said Comer.

“Finding out how federal agencies are spending taxpayer dollars can be extremely difficult. This lack of transparency is highly concerning and Americans and Michiganders deserve to know how these funds are used to improve their lives and livelihoods,” said Senator Peters. “I’m grateful to Congressman Quigley for helping to pass our bipartisan, commonsense legislation through the House and urge the President to sign it into law as soon as possible so we can bolster accountability for the federal government and help ensure taxpayer dollars are being put to good use.”

“Ohioans and all Americans should be able to easily evaluate how the federal government is spending their hard-earned tax dollars,” said Senator Portman. “I applaud the House of Representatives for passing the bipartisan Congressional Budget Justification Transparency Act to improve federal government transparency by requiring federal agencies to publish their annual budget justifications on a centralized website. Americans deserve transparency when it comes to the government spending their tax dollars and I hope President Biden will sign this bipartisan legislation into law soon.”

"The Congressional Budget Justification Transparency Act will create a central hub for federal agency budget request explanations that will empower Congress, the press, watchdogs, and the public to better understand how agencies propose to spend their funds by making it possible to find these explanations," said Daniel Schuman, policy director, Demand Progress. "Rep. Mike Quigley, who has made a career of improving government transparency and accountability, once again has moved forward simple but powerful bipartisan transparency legislation alongside Rep. James Comer and Sens. Gary Peters and Rob Portman."

Congressional budget justifications are explanations of how agencies propose to spend money that they request from Congressional appropriators. While each agency produces annual congressional budget justifications, they are often not made available to the public.

The Congressional Budget Justification Transparency Act 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. The bill will 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.