WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Steve Daines (R-MT), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) introduced bipartisan legislation to modernize and improve the way federal agencies interact with state, local, tribal and territorial (SLTT) governments so they can more efficiently implement important federal programs. The federal government provides many essential services to Americans, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, including unemployment insurance and certain health benefits. The senators’ bill will streamline efforts to deliver these services, save taxpayer dollars and improve government efficiency by requiring the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Director the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs (OIA) to develop a strategic plan to increase cooperation between the federal and state and local governments.
“Local governments play a vital role in delivering the federal resources that communities in Michigan and across the country rely on each and every day, but often don’t have the necessary tools and resources to ensure these important benefits and services reach every American who needs them,” said Senator Peters. “This commonsense, bipartisan bill will increase cooperation between all levels of government to improve the ability of state and local governments to provide critical services more efficiently and save taxpayer dollars as they help carry out many federal programs.”
“Too often the federal government’s red-tape and convoluted systems make it hard for Montana tribes and counties to get assistance and access important resources. The government should work for the people, not give them the run around,” said Senator Daines. “I’m glad to join colleagues across the aisle to make it easier for Montanans to communicate, coordinate and connect with the federal government.”
“Our bipartisan bill improving coordination between federal, state, local, and Tribal governments will help ensure taxpayer dollars are used efficiently and provide timely services for Arizona communities,” said Senator Sinema.
The federal government currently lacks a strategic plan to coordinate with localities to administer and oversee important services – leading to state and local governments often acquiring wasteful, duplicative, or ineffective systems to carry out federal policies. The senators’ bipartisan bill will help ensure tax dollars are not spent on unnecessary resources to execute core government responsibilities.
The Improving Intergovernmental Cooperation and Reducing Duplication Act amends the Intergovernmental Cooperation Act of 1968 to modernize how federal and local governments cooperate so that SLTTs can better assist in the delivery of federal services. The bill requires the OMB Director and OIA Director to develop a strategic plan to increase intergovernmental cooperation to improve coordination between federal and SLTT governments, increase efficiency, and reduce costs to taxpayers. The legislation would require the OMB director update the more than 50 year old guidance on intergovernmental cooperation to ensure more effective delivery of federal services at all levels of government.