The U.S. House today overwhelmingly passed H.R. 4053, the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Improvement Act (IPERIA). The bipartisan bill, co-sponsored by Rep. Jim Cooper and endorsed by the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrats, would reduce waste and fraud in government spending, and identify and prevent erroneous, improper payments within federal programs.
"The government needs to slim down, and it's common sense to ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent correctly. Every household in America pays bills by sending a check to the right person for the right amount; our government should be no different," said Cooper.
According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, federal agencies reported an estimated $125.4 billion in improper payments in the fiscal year 2010. Among its provisions, IPERIA would identify a list of high-priority federal programs for review of improper payments, and establish a government-wide "do not pay" list to block improper payments before they go out and to stop payments to deceased individuals, such as for Social Security.
A similar bipartisan bill, S.1409, passed the U.S. Senate by unanimous consent in August.