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Public Statements

Government Spending Accountability Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. CLAY. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Madam Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 4631, the Government Spending Accountability Act, as amended.

This legislation will improve congressional oversight of Federal Government spending on meetings and conferences. It is modeled on similar reporting requirements contained in the DATA Act, which passed the House of Representatives earlier this year with bipartisan support.

This legislation will help rein in the type of wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars that we have witnessed over the past several months. In April, the committee held a hearing to examine the GSA's expenditure of $800,000 on a single conference in Las Vegas in 2010.

The gross abuse of Federal funds must not be repeated, and one way to avoid that is to monitor more closely how Federal agencies use their funds on such activities.

We are all aware that conferences are an important part of staff development and can help improve the quality of Federal Government work; however, we must make sure that they do not turn into resort vacations funded by taxpayers, many of whom are continuing to struggle to make ends meet.

Madam Speaker, the GSA incident tarnished the reputation of government workers who dedicate their lives to public service, which I believe is unfair. This legislation, as amended, would prevent a few reckless and selfish individuals from engaging in activities that discredit the entire Federal workforce.

Madam Speaker, I urge support for this bill, and I reserve the balance of my time.

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