Our organizations, which span the ideological spectrum and care deeply about strengthening Congress’s power of the purse, applaud the House Appropriations Committee for including several provisions to enhance congressional oversight of federal spending in its FY 2023 Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill. We particularly commend the Committee’s decision to make permanent the requirement—passed with bipartisan support in the FY 2022 omnibus—that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) publicly post each document apportioning an appropriation. This provision sheds badly needed light on how the executive branch, through OMB, is authorizing agencies to spend the funds Congress has appropriated and whether OMB is requiring agencies to meet certain conditions before they may expend those funds.
The FY 2023 bill includes several other important provisions. Section 747 ensures that Congress is notified when the executive branch declines to spend money Congress appropriated, in violation of the Impoundment Control Act. Sections 748 and 749 strengthen the Government Accountability Office’s ability to investigate violations of the Impoundment Control Act and other budget and appropriations laws. And Section 750 ensures that agencies notify Congress if delays or conditions on apportionments could prevent the timely obligation of funds.
At a time when Americans are facing record levels of financial hardship and when the government’s fiscal outlook has become “unsustainable,” according to the Government Accountability Office, it is more important than ever that Congress and the public have more control over and insight into how the nation’s precious fiscal resources are being used. This is part of why we applaud the Committee for these meritorious provisions, which will help ensure Congress has the tools it needs to exercise its power of the purse and oversee the use of taxpayer dollars. We urge both chambers of Congress to include these provisions in any final FY 2023 appropriations legislation.
National Taxpayers Union
Project on Government Oversight
R Street Institute
Taxpayers for Common Sense
Protecting Congress’s Power of the Purse
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