Senators Tom Carper (D-DE) and Tom Coburn (R-OK) appeared yesterday before the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform for a hearing on “Waste in Government.” The Senators discussed a number of legislative proposals, including the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act), that would help to fight waste and fraud in federal spending.
Sen. Carper told the committee that he considered the DATA Act to be “one of the 80% of things that we agree on — and so does the administration.” In written remarks submitted to the oversight body, Sen. Carper elaborated further on the landmark open data bill’s progress in the Senate:
Dr. Coburn and I also recently moved the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act or DATA Act out of Committee. I know this is a bill that is very familiar to members of this panel and I want to congratulate you all on getting the bill passed through the House on a near unanimous vote. As you know, this important piece of legislation seeks to improve transparency of federal spending and establish data standards for such spending. The DATA Act builds off the original laws requiring budget transparency and takes much-needed steps to improve this situation and I am working closely with Senators Warner, Portman and my ranking member Dr. Coburn to get a bill through the Senate.
Committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) noted during the hearing that over a third of the federal deficit could be eliminated simply by identifying and removing wasteful and fraudulent expenditures. Rep. Issa is the DATA Act’s main sponsor in the House. The Senate is expected to bring the bill to a floor vote in the early part of 2014.