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Congressman Long Leads Effort to Increase Transparency and Accountability in Executive Branch Spending

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NEWS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE OFFICE OF CONGRESSMAN BILLY LONG (MO.)

Long Leads Effort to Increase Transparency and Accountability in Executive Branch Spending

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Billy Long is leading the effort to ensure the government is transparent and held accountable when using taxpayer dollars on government advertisements with his Taxpayer Transparency Act.

“I believe it is important, in the interest of transparency and government accountability, for the public to be informed when Washington uses their hard earned dollars to promote federal programs,” Long said. “The Taxpayer Transparency Act requires government agencies to put a disclaimer at the bottom of any advertisement that is paid for by taxpayers. By calling attention to how taxpayer dollars are spent, my bill will serve as a reminder that all services provided by the government are ultimately paid for by the taxpayers.”

The Taxpayer Transparency Act requires Executive Branch agencies to disclose that advertisements are paid for at taxpayer expense in mediums including printed mailers, brochures, television and radio advertisements, billboards, and e-mail.

Recently, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reserved massive advertisement buys promoting Obamacare, heavily targeting states that opted-out of the law’s Medicaid expansion. While this is an unprecedented purchase size, it is hardly an isolated issue. Every day, states send recruiters out to sign people up for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) using brochures printed at taxpayer expense. Under current law these advertisements are not required to contain any disclaimer that they are produced at taxpayer expense despite their potentially profound impact on public policy and public opinion.

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