Rep. Charlie Wilson (OH-6) is pleased to announce that the House of Representatives passed S. 1508, the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act (IPERA), part of Wilson's ten bill initiative to tackle the national debt. The bipartisan legislation was sponsored by Rep. Patrick Murphy of Pennsylvania, and co-sponsored by Wilson. The bill cleared its last major hurdle and is now on its way to the President's desk.
"This bill will hold our government accountable for wasteful payments," Wilson said. "It will ensure that federal agencies stop making payment errors while allowing them to recover overpayments. It sounds simple, but this common sense change could save taxpayers $98 billion annually."
Federal agencies spent $98 billion on improper payments in 2009, according to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). That is more than double the total budget for the Department of Homeland Security. This legislation includes provisions to increase transparency, prevent improper payments, recover overpayments and hold federal agencies accountable.
"If a family was double billed for their car payment or paid for groceries they never received, they'd figure out what went wrong and get their money back," said Representative Murphy. "Washington should hold itself to the same standard of fiscal responsibility."
This is the fifth bill of Wilson's ten bill initiative that has either recently passed the House or been enacted by the President. Wilson unveiled and is backing a comprehensive plan of 10 bills that he is either co-sponsoring or writing to tackle the national debt. Each of the ten bills in the plan do one of three basic things that working families do as they deal with their own finances: they make common sense spending decisions, they trim the fat and they chip away at the debt. IPERA will help trim the fat.
"I realize that we still have a long way to go in order to fully restore our country's financial well-being," Wilson said. "We didn't get into the debt we're in overnight and we won't get out of debt overnight. But, this bill that's about to be signed by the President is another positive step in the right direction. As any family on a budget knows, every little bit helps. I am committed to tackling our country's debt."