Carper Statement on HSGAC Business Meeting

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), a senior member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC), released the following statement after the committee approved multiple pieces of bipartisan legislation led by Senator Carper.

“Today, our Committee was able to advance common sense and bipartisan bills that will help to make government work better for the American people. The Payment Integrity Information Act will help agencies more accurately assess and prevent improper payments, which are any payments made to the wrong person, for the wrong reason or in the wrong amount. As elected officials, we have a responsibility to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars, and this bill will help to ensure we do better on that front.

“For the last several years improper payments have exceeded $140 billion each year.  Yesterday, the national debt surpassed $22 trillion for the first time. This is simply unacceptable. We can and must do better. By taking smart steps to reduce improper payments, we can save money, restore trust in our federal government and put these funds to better use for the American people.

“We’ve also made progress today on an issue that is vital to the health of our democracy. The Presidential Transition Enhancement Act is a bipartisan bill that builds on the bipartisan tradition of improving the Presidential Transition process, including good work Chairman Johnson and I spearheaded several years ago when we passed The Ted Kaufman and Michael Leavitt Presidential Transitions Improvement Act. That bill laid the foundation for the most recent Presidential transition, and ensured that there was a process in place to provide the new Administration with the resources it needed to hit the ground running. The Presidential Transition Enhancement Act takes important steps forward to streamline the transition process even further.

“The individuals running for the highest office in our land should be required to address any outstanding ethical issues before they take the oath of office. That’s why I’m pleased that The Presidential Transition Enhancement Act  passed out of committee today includes important provisions from a bill I co-authored with Senator Warren and Representative Elijah Cummings. That bill, the Transition Team Ethics Improvement Act, would enhance transparency during the transition process by requiring any individual seeking the highest office in the land – regardless of political party – to disclose how they will address conflicts of interest and present an ethics plan for the American people to see and evaluate before the election. I’m pleased the committee could advance both of these important bills today on a bipartisan basis, and I will be pushing for the full Senate to take them up expeditiously.”