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The federal government ends every fiscal year with a mountain of unspent money. The total for last year added up to more than $800 billion! And 2021 is expected to be nearly the same, with all of that taxpayer cash sitting idle and for no purpose.

Meanwhile, these same federal agencies that cannot find ways to spend all the money they’ve been given will once again come to Congress, hat in hand, asking for budget increases. The fiscal insanity cycle continues.

If these agencies already know they’re not going to spend all the money they’re given, why the heck are they asking for more? That’s a darn good question and certainly one Iowa taxpayers deserve to have answered.

As for the money that is being spent, let’s take a closer look and ask a few more questions:

Folks, it’s just bananas to monkey around with money like this when our country has so many other urgent needs—and taxpayers certainly deserve to know what was behind spending decisions like these.

Agencies submit budget justifications to Congress as part the President’s annual budget request, and while the documents don’t answer all of these questions, they do give greater insights into how bureaucrats are managing your money. But in typical Washington practice, these budget justifications are only available to a select few, and not YOU the taxpayer…who actually pays the bills.

That is why I am awarding my January 2021 Squeal Award to the Office of Management and Budget for keeping these documents hidden from the public. 

It is also why I am supporting the bipartisan Congressional Budget Justification Transparency Act, which would require the budget justifications of every federal agency to be posted online for the public to make their own decisions about whether or not Washington’s spending decisions are justifiable.

Why is Washington asking for more of your paycheck when it can’t even spend what it already takes?

Author: Joni Ernst

Joni Ernst, a native of Red Oak and a combat veteran, represents Iowa in the United States Senate.