Senators Carper and Braun Introduce Legislation to Safeguard American Tax Dollars Against Improper Use

The STEP Act builds on the Payment Integrity Information Act of 2019

Today, U.S. Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) introduced the Safeguarding the Transparency and Efficiency of Payments (STEP) Act, bipartisan legislation that will continue to safeguard American tax dollars by building on the Senators’ Payment Integrity Information Act of 2019, which was signed into law in 2020. This new bill would designate all new federal programs making more than $100 million in payments in any one fiscal year as “susceptible to significant improper payments” for their initial years of operation. It would also expand reporting requirements in an effort to combat and deter improper payments.

“The Payment Integrity Information Act has already begun working to save our country billions of dollars in improper payments,” said Senator Carper. “For years, I have worked to make it a priority across the federal government to root out and eliminate billions of dollars in waste, fraud, and abuse. Today, I’m proud to continue this critical work to increase the efficiency and transparency of federal spending and safeguard American taxpayer dollars.”

“For decades, Washington has wasted billions of dollars in payments that never should have been made,” said Senator Braun. “More transparency and accountability should be required to prevent endless government waste that is bankrupting our country.”

This bipartisan legislation is based on recommendations from the Government Accountability Office. During an April 2023 hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, U.S. Comptroller General Gene Dodaro highlighted the importance of these changes to current law and the impact they would have on agencies’ ability to mitigate and recover improper payments more efficiently.

Senator Carper has been leading the charge to ensure the proper use of American taxpayer dollars throughout his time in Congress. In addition to leading the successful passage and implementation of the Payment Integrity Information Act of 2019, Senators Carper and John Kennedy (R-La.) introduced the Stopping Improper Payments to Deceased People Act, which became law in December 2020. This bill set up provisions to save billions of federal taxpayer dollars by curbing erroneous government payments to deceased individuals for a temporary three-year period, and earlier this year, the Senators introduced a new bill that would make the temporary provisions permanent.

The full bill text is available here.