WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill initiated a rarely-used Senate procedure to try to force passage of the bipartisan Taxpayer Right to Know Act. The bill calls for the federal government to make public the details, costs, and performance metrics of every federal program above $1 million. McCaskill and Republican Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma took to the Senate floor to attempt a ‘live’ unanimous consent request, which was blocked by New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer.
“American taxpayers deserve a government that can tell them how their money is being spent, and that’s what this bill is trying to do,” said McCaskill, former Missouri State Auditor. “It’s trying to get important information to the people who are paying the bills. Don’t they have a right to know where all the money is going?”
Click HERE to watch McCaskill’s floor speech and unanimous consent request.
McCaskill introduced the legislation last year with Republican Senators James Lankford of Oklahoma and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, and it was unanimously approved by the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. The legislation would create a publicly accessible online database of financial data and performance metrics for every federal program above $1 million. It would also require agencies to identify the number of employees working on and provide a description of the beneficiaries served by every federal program.
McCaskill is a leader in fighting for transparency and accountability in the federal government. The non-partisan organization GovTrack has ranked her as the top Senator for government transparency. McCaskill has led efforts to pass the bipartisan Inspector General Empowerment Act, which enhances watchdogs’ ability to oversee waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer dollars at federal agencies. McCaskill has also extended and made permanent current whistleblower protections to nearly all federal government grantees, subgrantees, contractors and subcontractors.