Taxpayers Have a Right to Know How Their Money is Spent by Federal Government, Argues Tester

Taxpayer’s Right to Know Act would make public the details, costs, and performance metrics of every federal

(U.S. Senate) – As part of his continuing effort to promote transparency and hold government accountable to Montanans, U.S. Senator Jon Tester is backing legislation giving taxpayers better insight into exactly how their money is being spent.

The Taxpayer’s Right to Know Act would expand the availability of online data by requiring the federal government to publish specific details on the cost and performance of federal programs.

“Montana taxpayers deserve to know exactly how their hard-earned money is being spent, and what it’s being spent on,” Tester said. “I don’t think it’s too much to ask that the government give folks basic insight into its spending and hold agencies accountable to cut down on waste along the way-so I’ll continue pushing Mitch McConnell to bring this commonsense, bipartisan bill up for a vote.”

Tester has sponsored the Taxpayer’s Right to Know Act in previous Congresses-and the bill unanimously passed the U.S. House of Representatives in 2017, but Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to allow the Senate to vote on it.

A founding member of the Senate Transparency Caucus, Tester has been a steadfast supporter of accountability and good government practices throughout his time in the Senate. He has fought to make all public records from the Executive Branch permanently available on the internet, is the only member of Montana’s Congressional delegation to post his public schedule online, and has called on President Trump to make good faith efforts with Republicans and Democrats to increase transparency in our democratic process.

Tester has also worked to make campaigns more transparent. His Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act was signed into law last fall, requiring candidates to electronically file financial disclosure reports with the Federal Election Commission, making them immediately available to the public and saving taxpayers money, and he recently sponsored the DISCLOSE Act, which boosts transparency in elections by forcing political organizations to disclose the names of their biggest donors. He also received the 2017 James Madison Award for his work to increase the public’s ability to access government information, bring more transparency to elections, and disclose the details of secret government contracts.