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Spanberger calls on Congress to protect taxpayers in upcoming COVID-19 relief package

Abigail SpanbergerRep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., is calling on Congress to include new measures to protect taxpayer dollars in future funding packages.

In a letter sent to U.S. House and U.S. Senate leadership of both parties, Spanberger and 16 of her colleagues in the Blue Dog Coalition advocated for four clear taxpayer oversight measures in the next COVID-19 relief package — including stopping payments to deceased Americans, protecting inspectors general and whistleblowers, codifying the bipartisan Taxpayers Right to Know Act, and increasing transparency at the Federal Reserve.

This letter follows a June 2020 Government Accountability Office report identifying significant oversight problems with the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the U.S. Treasury Department sending more than 1 million stimulus payments to deceased individuals. These payments totaled nearly $1.4 billion.

“During this pandemic, every federal dollar wasted is a dollar less to support our health care system, our workers, and our businesses,” said Spanberger and her colleagues. “Protecting taxpayer money should be the ultimate bipartisan cause, and the American people are counting on us to get this right.”

In February, the U.S. House unanimously passed the Taxpayers Right to Know Act, which Spanberger cosponsored. The bipartisan bill would require the Office of Management and Budget to publish an online inventory of each federal agency’s programs. This inventory would also provide a description of these programs, as well as information about the program’s costs and performance.

The Spanberger-signed letter was also signed by U.S. Representatives Ben McAdams (D-UT-04), Ed Case (D-HI-01), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL-07), Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ-01), Lou Correa (D-CA-46), Anthony Brindisi (D-NY-22), and Kurt Schrader (D-OR-05) Sanford Bishop (D-GA-02), Jim Cooper (D-TN-05), Jim Costa (D-CA-16), Joe Cunningham (D-SC-01), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ-05), Kendra Horn (D-OK-05), Daniel Lipinski (D-IL-03), Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ-11), and Xochitl Torres Small (D-NM-02).

Click here to read the letter.

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