House passes ‘Do Not Pay List’ bill

Who says the House can’t agree on anything?

Though apparently not making progress on a solution to the “fiscal cliff,” the House voted 402-0 today to pass a bill that would cut down on wasteful spending in part by creating a government-wide “Do Not Pay List” to block improper payments before they go out and to stop payments to deceased individuals, such as for Social Security.

Mike Thompson “Taxpayers deserve to know that there money is being spent wisely and monitored closely,” Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Napa, one of the bill’s original co-sponsors, said in a news release. “Every dollar counts. This bill will help us lower our debt by cutting down on billions in wasteful spending.”

H.R. 4053, the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Improvement Act (IPERIA), will better identify, prevent and recover payment error, waste, fraud and abuse within federal spending by making sure federal agencies have policies in place to prevent and recover improper payments.

The Government Accountability Office has reported that federal agencies logged an estimated $125.4 billion in improper payments in FY2010.

This legislation builds on a similar improper payments law passed last year, the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act of 2010, which was part of the Blue Dogs’ Blueprint for Fiscal Reform – a 15-point plan to balance the budget and lay the groundwork for sound long-term fiscal policies.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.