There is one thing in Washington that everyone should be able to agree on, and that is we must improve how our government works. I’m happy to report the President has signed our bipartisan Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, or DATA Act into law. This groundbreaking government reform legislation will allow Virginians to track exactly how their tax dollars are being spent by the federal government.
Because of the DATA Act, every federal agency must now display their financial data in the same format on a single easy-to-read website. The public should be able to see clearly how much each agency and program across government spends. With a national debt of $17 trillion (and growing every day), I know it’s more important than ever that we reduce unnecessary spending.
Click here to watch a short video about consolidating and eliminating
unnecessary and wasteful government reports.
And I’ve only just begun – I’m working on several other bills that will improve government efficiency. For example, I recently introduced another bipartisan bill that would eliminate duplicative, wasteful and unnecessary reports that federal agencies produce. The Washington Post had a story about our legislation, and reported that Congress is still ordering up six reports about the Soviet Union, a country that dissolved in 1991, as well as about Spanish-American War veterans, the last of whom died in 1994. I think that’s ridiculous. My legislation would eliminate or modify more than 300 of the worst offenders that are wasting money and staff hours.
None of these initiatives will fix all of our budget problems, but increasing transparency is critical to accountability. That’s what I learned over more than 20 years in business and as Virginia’s governor, when I was proud that Virginia was named the best managed state. The passage of the DATA Act proves that Washington still can come together on a bipartisan basis to pass commonsense reforms that put the taxpayers first. I promise to keep working in the Senate to continue to hold the federal government accountable for waste, fraud, and inefficiency, and give the taxpayers the transparency they deserve.
Mark R. Warner"