Washington, DC − Congresswoman Sherrill (NJ-11) introduced legislation to cut down wasteful spending by Cabinet officials and increase transparency for taxpayers on renovation and decorating expenses at federal agencies. The Reining In Irresponsible Decorating Expenses (RIIDE) Act is a bipartisan bill led by Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) and Congressman Mark Meadows (NC-11).
“New Jersey sends more money to Washington and gets less than almost any state in the country, and this bill will work to ensure our federal tax dollars are better spent,” said Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill. “This bill makes sure public officials are focused on improving the lives of New Jerseyans, and not frivolous distractions.”
“This legislation would make common-sense reforms to hold the powerful accountable and ensure taxpayer dollars are being used responsibly,” said Congresswoman Cheri Bustos. “Cabinet officials shouldn’t have a blank check to live large on the taxpayer’s dime, and this bill is a much-needed step in the right direction to make the government work for the people again – not for personal gain.”
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“This legislation would provide much needed spending transparency, helping to prevent future missteps by agency heads that rightfully call into question their ability to be responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars,” said Peter Tyler, Senior Policy Analyst at the Project on Government Oversight. “It also correctly prioritizes accountability over high-priced office furniture.”
“The RIIDE Act is a critical common-sense reform that would ensure public officials do not abuse the public trust,” said Tom Schatz, President of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste.“Instead of measuring their taxpayer-funded drapes, Washington politicians should be focused on fiscal responsibility for themselves and the nation.”
The RIIDE Act would bring much-needed transparency to federal agency heads’ excessive spending on office renovations and furniture and create real consequences for those who break the rules. Before Cabinet secretaries and agency heads spend more than $5,000 in taxpayer funds for office renovations and furniture, the RIIDE Act would require them not only to notify Congress, but also to justify the expense. Furthermore, the legislation would require them to report to Congress on the performance of their respective agency, including up-to-date information on grant backlogs, staffing levels and other important benchmarks. Lastly, the RIIDE Act would create consequences for those that don’t comply – failing to report such expenses would require paying back the U.S. Treasury for the expense, including interest.
Other original co-sponsors of the RIIDE Act include Representatives Jim Cooper (TN-05), Max Rose (NY-11), Jeff Van Drew (NJ-02), Josh Harder (CA-10), Cindy Axne (IA-03), Susan Wild (PA-07), Deb Haaland (NM-01), Lucy McBath (GA-06), Sean Casten (IL-06), Chris Pappas (NH-01), Tom Malinowski (NJ-07), Susie Lee (NV-03), Greg Stanton (AZ-09), Sharice Davids (KS-03), Katie Hill (CA-25), Xochitl Torres Small (NM-02), Angie Craig (MN-02), Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) and Jason Crow (CO-06).