GOP Senator: Harry Reid Won’t Let You See How The Government is Spending Your Tax Dollars
A bipartisan bill that would expose each and every federal dollar to taxpayer scrutiny has the unanimous support of the House and 99 of 100 Senators, but it’s being held up by one man, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). And according to the bill’s Republican sponsor, it’s all about politics.
“There are some no-brainer bills that they work through the House and they get held up in the Senate over some other Senate fight,” Senator James Lankford (R-OK) told The Stream in an interview about waste, fraud, abuse and duplication in the federal government. (More from that interview here.) He said that’s happening now with his Taxpayers Right to Know Act, one he described as a “transparency bill” that goes after the duplication that every year we complain about.”
This exposes the duplication so everybody can see it. Watchdog groups on the outside can see it, everybody in Congress can see exactly where we have duplicative programs, and how much is spent, and how they are evaluated. … It passed unanimously in the House, and it’s come to the Senate. And it’s currently [backed] 99-1 in the Senate. Harry Reid himself is holding it up, and trying to keep it from moving on to the Senate floor, and is trying to stall it for whatever reason, we don’t know.
Lankford said he’s visited with Reid about his opposition to the bill, but progress has been halted.
Reid’s office did not respond to multiple requests for comment about the hold, but Lankford says it appears to be all about politics. “This is a bill that has unanimous-but-one consent,” he explained. “Harry Reid is the one person holding up the bill.”
Reid’s move “seems to be a focus on … having the Senate run as slow as possible and get the least amount done,” said the freshman senator.
This isn’t the first time Reid has blocked the transparency bill. In the 113th Congress, Lankford’s bill passed both the House and the relevant Senate committee. Reid prevented it from landing on the Senate floor.
“I’m trying to do whatever I can to help solve problems,” Lankford told The Stream. No stranger to blocking legislation himself, Lankford said that he tries to work with the author of a bill he’s blocked “to be able to work out language, and so we can make sure we get it right.”