Saving Taxpayer Dollars Is Focus of McCaskill Request

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, the top-ranking Democrat on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, is calling for answers from the Department of Defense on what it is doing to track and reduce improper payments. The department’s Inspector General estimated that there were almost one billion in improper payments last year, but a recent report found that the department did not fully follow five of six required ways to cut down on improper payments.

“When it comes to defense spending, it’s especially important that taxpayer dollars aren’t being wasted and instead are being used to strengthen our national security as much as possible,” said McCaskill, a former Missouri State Auditor. “The Department of Defense needs to lay out what they’ll do to identify and reduce improper payments moving forward.”

The McCaskill-backed Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act of 2010 helps save taxpayer dollars by requiring government agencies to follow six requirements to identify, minimize, and recover improper payments. This year, the Defense Department Inspector General found that the department failed to comply with five of the requirements. McCaskill’s letter to Defense Department Secretary Jim Mattis requests an update on the agency’s plans to come into compliance with the requirements, including when they’ll take the necessary steps.

Since her time as Missouri State Auditor, McCaskill has been a leading voice in Missouri and Washington for cutting wasteful government spending. Earlier this month, McCaskill-backed bipartisan legislation to crack down on misuse of federal agency travel and purchase cards spending passed the Senate. The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has unanimously approved two of her bills with Republican Senator Steve Daines of Montana to eliminate wasteful spending at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. McCaskill has also expanded whistleblower protections to government contractors, subcontractors, and others who the federal government directly or indirectly hires through bipartisan bills that have been signed into law. During her first term in the Senate, McCaskill waged a successful six-year effort to crack down on waste, fraud, and abuse in wartime contracting.

Read McCaskill’s letter to Secretary Mattis HERE.