DIGITAL ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY ACT OF 2013
(Senate - April 10, 2014)

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[Pages S2359-S2362]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




          DIGITAL ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY ACT OF 2013

  Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, I originally was going to engage in a 
colloquy with Senator Portman on a very important piece of legislation 
that we, Senator Coburn, and Senator Carper, were working on for 2 
years, and he will come back.
  I ask unanimous consent that the Senate proceed to the consideration 
of Calendar No. 337, S. 994.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the bill by title.
  The assistant bill clerk read as follows:

       A bill (S. 994) to expand the Federal Funding 
     Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 to increase 
     accountability and transparency in Federal spending, and for 
     other purposes.

  There being no objection, the Senate proceeded to consider the bill.
  Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the 
committee-reported substitute amendment be withdrawn; the Carper 
substitute amendment, which is at the desk, be considered; the Carper 
amendment at the desk be agreed to; the Carper substitute, as amended, 
be agreed to; and the bill, as amended, be read a third time and 
passed, with no intervening action or debate.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment (No. 2970) in the nature of a substitute was agreed to.
  (The amendment is printed in the Record of Wednesday, April 9, 2014, 
under ``Text of Amendments.'')
  The amendment (No. 2971) was agreed to, as follows:

(Purpose: To allow the Secretary of Defense to request an extension to 
             report financial and payment information data)

       On page 9, strike lines 17 through 21 and insert the 
     following:
       ``(2) Agencies.--
       ``(A) In general.--Except as provided in subparagraph (B), 
     not later than 2 years after the date on which the guidance 
     under paragraph (1) is issued, each Federal agency shall 
     report financial and payment information data in accordance 
     with the data standards established under subsection (a).
       ``(B) Noninterference with auditability of department of 
     defense financial statements.--
       ``(i) In general.--Upon request by the Secretary of 
     Defense, the Director may grant an extension of the deadline 
     under subparagraph (A) to the Department of Defense for a 
     period of not more than 6 months to report financial and 
     payment information data in accordance with the data 
     standards established under subsection (a).
       ``(ii) Limitation.--The Director may not grant more than 3 
     extensions to the Secretary of Defense under clause (i).
       ``(iii) Notification.--The Director of the Office of 
     Management and Budget shall notify the Committee on Homeland 
     Security and Governmental Affairs and the Committee on Armed 
     Services of the Senate and the Committee on Oversight and 
     Government Reform and the Committee on Armed Services of the 
     House of Representatives of--

       ``(I) each grant of an extension under clause (i); and
       ``(II) the reasons for granting such an extension.

  The bill (S. 994), as amended, was ordered to be engrossed for a 
third reading, was read the third time, and passed, as follows:

                                 S. 994

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Digital Accountability and 
     Transparency Act of 2014'' or the ``DATA Act''.

     SEC. 2. PURPOSES.

       The purposes of this Act are to--
       (1) expand the Federal Funding Accountability and 
     Transparency Act of 2006 (31 U.S.C. 6101 note) by disclosing 
     direct Federal agency expenditures and linking Federal 
     contract, loan, and grant spending information to programs of 
     Federal agencies to enable taxpayers and policy makers to 
     track Federal spending more effectively;
       (2) establish Government-wide data standards for financial 
     data and provide consistent, reliable, and searchable 
     Government-wide spending data that is displayed accurately 
     for taxpayers and policy makers on USASpending.gov (or a 
     successor system that displays the data);
       (3) simplify reporting for entities receiving Federal funds 
     by streamlining reporting requirements and reducing 
     compliance costs while improving transparency;
       (4) improve the quality of data submitted to 
     USASpending.gov by holding Federal agencies accountable for 
     the completeness and accuracy of the data submitted; and
       (5) apply approaches developed by the Recovery 
     Accountability and Transparency Board to spending across the 
     Federal Government.

     SEC. 3. AMENDMENTS TO THE FEDERAL FUNDING ACCOUNTABILITY AND 
                   TRANSPARENCY ACT OF 2006.

       The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 
     2006 (31 U.S.C. 6101 note) is amended--
       (1) in section 2--
       (A) in subsection (a)--
       (i) in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by striking 
     ``this section'' and inserting ``this Act'';
       (ii) by redesignating paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) as 
     paragraphs (2), (4), and (7), respectively;
       (iii) by inserting before paragraph (2), as so 
     redesignated, the following:
       ``(1) Director.--The term `Director' means the Director of 
     the Office of Management and Budget.'';
       (iv) by inserting after paragraph (2), as so redesignated, 
     the following:
       ``(3) Federal agency.--The term `Federal agency' has the 
     meaning given the term `Executive agency' under section 105 
     of title 5, United States Code.'';
       (v) by inserting after paragraph (4), as so redesignated, 
     the following:
       ``(5) Object class.--The term `object class' means the 
     category assigned for purposes of the annual budget of the 
     President submitted under section 1105(a) of title 31, United 
     States Code, to the type of property or services purchased by 
     the Federal Government.
       ``(6) Program activity.--The term `program activity' has 
     the meaning given that term under section 1115(h) of title 
     31, United States Code.''; and
       (vi) by adding at the end the following:
       ``(8) Secretary.--The term `Secretary' means the Secretary 
     of the Treasury.'';
       (B) in subsection (b)--
       (i) in paragraph (3), by striking ``of the Office of 
     Management and Budget''; and
       (ii) in paragraph (4), by striking ``of the Office of 
     Management and Budget'';
       (C) in subsection (c)--
       (i) in paragraph (4), by striking ``and'' at the end;
       (ii) in paragraph (5), by striking the period at the end 
     and inserting a semicolon; and
       (iii) by adding at the end the following:
       ``(6) shall have the ability to aggregate data for the 
     categories described in paragraphs (1) through (5) without 
     double-counting data; and
       ``(7) shall ensure that all information published under 
     this section is available--
       ``(A) in machine-readable and open formats;
       ``(B) to be downloaded in bulk; and
       ``(C) to the extent practicable, for automated 
     processing.'';
       (D) in subsection (d)--
       (i) in paragraph (1)(A), by striking ``of the Office of 
     Management and Budget'';
       (ii) in paragraph (2)--

       (I) in subparagraph (A), by striking ``of the Office of 
     Management and Budget''; and
       (II) in subparagraph (B), by striking ``of the Office of 
     Management and Budget'';

       (E) in subsection (e), by striking ``of the Office of 
     Management and Budget''; and
       (F) in subsection (g)--
       (i) in paragraph (1), by striking ``of the Office of 
     Management and Budget''; and
       (ii) in paragraph (3), by striking ``of the Office of 
     Management and Budget''; and
       (2) by striking sections 3 and 4 and inserting the 
     following:

[[Page S2360]]

     ``SEC. 3. FULL DISCLOSURE OF FEDERAL FUNDS.

       ``(a) In General.--Not later than 3 years after the date of 
     enactment of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act 
     of 2014, and monthly when practicable but not less than 
     quarterly thereafter, the Secretary, in consultation with the 
     Director, shall ensure that the information in subsection (b) 
     is posted on the website established under section 2.
       ``(b) Information To Be Posted.--For any funds made 
     available to or expended by a Federal agency or component of 
     a Federal agency, the information to be posted shall 
     include--
       ``(1) for each appropriations account, including an expired 
     or unexpired appropriations account, the amount--
       ``(A) of budget authority appropriated;
       ``(B) that is obligated;
       ``(C) of unobligated balances; and
       ``(D) of any other budgetary resources;
       ``(2) from which accounts and in what amount--
       ``(A) appropriations are obligated for each program 
     activity; and
       ``(B) outlays are made for each program activity;
       ``(3) from which accounts and in what amount--
       ``(A) appropriations are obligated for each object class; 
     and
       ``(B) outlays are made for each object class; and
       ``(4) for each program activity, the amount--
       ``(A) obligated for each object class; and
       ``(B) of outlays made for each object class.

     ``SEC. 4. DATA STANDARDS.

       ``(a) In General.--
       ``(1) Establishment of standards.--The Secretary and the 
     Director, in consultation with the heads of Federal agencies, 
     shall establish Government-wide financial data standards for 
     any Federal funds made available to or expended by Federal 
     agencies and entities receiving Federal funds.
       ``(2) Data elements.--The financial data standards 
     established under paragraph (1) shall include common data 
     elements for financial and payment information required to be 
     reported by Federal agencies and entities receiving Federal 
     funds.
       ``(b) Requirements.--The data standards established under 
     subsection (a) shall, to the extent reasonable and 
     practicable--
       ``(1) incorporate widely accepted common data elements, 
     such as those developed and maintained by--
       ``(A) an international voluntary consensus standards body;
       ``(B) Federal agencies with authority over contracting and 
     financial assistance; and
       ``(C) accounting standards organizations;
       ``(2) incorporate a widely accepted, nonproprietary, 
     searchable, platform-independent computer-readable format;
       ``(3) include unique identifiers for Federal awards and 
     entities receiving Federal awards that can be consistently 
     applied Government-wide;
       ``(4) be consistent with and implement applicable 
     accounting principles;
       ``(5) be capable of being continually upgraded as 
     necessary;
       ``(6) produce consistent and comparable data, including 
     across program activities; and
       ``(7) establish a standard method of conveying the 
     reporting period, reporting entity, unit of measure, and 
     other associated attributes.
       ``(c) Deadlines.--
       ``(1) Guidance.--Not later than 1 year after the date of 
     enactment of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act 
     of 2014, the Director and the Secretary shall issue guidance 
     to Federal agencies on the data standards established under 
     subsection (a).
       ``(2) Agencies.--
       ``(A) In general.--Except as provided in subparagraph (B), 
     not later than 2 years after the date on which the guidance 
     under paragraph (1) is issued, each Federal agency shall 
     report financial and payment information data in accordance 
     with the data standards established under subsection (a).
       ``(B) Noninterference with auditability of department of 
     defense financial statements.--
       ``(i) In general.--Upon request by the Secretary of 
     Defense, the Director may grant an extension of the deadline 
     under subparagraph (A) to the Department of Defense for a 
     period of not more than 6 months to report financial and 
     payment information data in accordance with the data 
     standards established under subsection (a).
       ``(ii) Limitation.--The Director may not grant more than 3 
     extensions to the Secretary of Defense under clause (i).
       ``(iii) Notification.--The Director of the Office of 
     Management and Budget shall notify the Committee on Homeland 
     Security and Governmental Affairs and the Committee on Armed 
     Services of the Senate and the Committee on Oversight and 
     Government Reform and the Committee on Armed Services of the 
     House of Representatives of--

       ``(I) each grant of an extension under clause (i); and
       ``(II) the reasons for granting such an extension.

       ``(3) Website.--Not later than 3 years after the date on 
     which the guidance under paragraph (1) is issued, the 
     Director and the Secretary shall ensure that the data 
     standards established under subsection (a) are applied to the 
     data made available on the website established under section 
     2.
       ``(d) Consultation.--The Director and the Secretary shall 
     consult with public and private stakeholders in establishing 
     data standards under this section.

     ``SEC. 5. SIMPLIFYING FEDERAL AWARD REPORTING.

       ``(a) In General.--The Director, in consultation with 
     relevant Federal agencies, recipients of Federal awards, 
     including State and local governments, and institutions of 
     higher education (as defined in section 102 of the Higher 
     Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1002)), shall review the 
     information required to be reported by recipients of Federal 
     awards to identify--
       ``(1) common reporting elements across the Federal 
     Government;
       ``(2) unnecessary duplication in financial reporting; and
       ``(3) unnecessarily burdensome reporting requirements for 
     recipients of Federal awards.
       ``(b) Pilot Program.--
       ``(1) Establishment.--Not later than 1 year after the date 
     of enactment of the Digital Accountability and Transparency 
     Act of 2014, the Director, or a Federal agency designated by 
     the Director, shall establish a pilot program (in this 
     section referred to as the `pilot program') with the 
     participation of appropriate Federal agencies to facilitate 
     the development of recommendations for--
       ``(A) standardized reporting elements across the Federal 
     Government;
       ``(B) the elimination of unnecessary duplication in 
     financial reporting; and
       ``(C) the reduction of compliance costs for recipients of 
     Federal awards.
       ``(2) Requirements.--The pilot program shall--
       ``(A) include a combination of Federal contracts, grants, 
     and subawards, the aggregate value of which is not less than 
     $1,000,000,000 and not more than $2,000,000,000;
       ``(B) include a diverse group of recipients of Federal 
     awards; and
       ``(C) to the extent practicable, include recipients who 
     receive Federal awards from multiple programs across multiple 
     agencies.
       ``(3) Data collection.--The pilot program shall include 
     data collected during a 12-month reporting cycle.
       ``(4) Reporting and evaluation requirements.--Each 
     recipient of a Federal award participating in the pilot 
     program shall submit to the Office of Management and Budget 
     or the Federal agency designated under paragraph (1), as 
     appropriate, any requested reports of the selected Federal 
     awards.
       ``(5) Termination.--The pilot program shall terminate on 
     the date that is 2 years after the date on which the pilot 
     program is established.
       ``(6) Report to congress.--Not later than 90 days after the 
     date on which the pilot program terminates under paragraph 
     (5), the Director shall submit to the Committee on Homeland 
     Security and Governmental Affairs and the Committee on the 
     Budget of the Senate and the Committee on Oversight and 
     Government Reform and the Committee on the Budget of the 
     House of Representatives a report on the pilot program, which 
     shall include--
       ``(A) a description of the data collected under the pilot 
     program, the usefulness of the data provided, and the cost to 
     collect the data from recipients; and
       ``(B) a discussion of any legislative action required and 
     recommendations for--
       ``(i) consolidating aspects of Federal financial reporting 
     to reduce the costs to recipients of Federal awards;
       ``(ii) automating aspects of Federal financial reporting to 
     increase efficiency and reduce the costs to recipients of 
     Federal awards;
       ``(iii) simplifying the reporting requirements for 
     recipients of Federal awards; and
       ``(iv) improving financial transparency.
       ``(7) Government-wide implementation.--Not later than 1 
     year after the date on which the Director submits the report 
     under paragraph (6), the Director shall issue guidance to the 
     heads of Federal agencies as to how the Government-wide 
     financial data standards established under section 4(a) shall 
     be applied to the information required to be reported by 
     entities receiving Federal awards to--
       ``(A) reduce the burden of complying with reporting 
     requirements; and
       ``(B) simplify the reporting process, including by reducing 
     duplicative reports.

     ``SEC. 6. ACCOUNTABILITY FOR FEDERAL FUNDING.

       ``(a) Inspector General Reports.--
       ``(1) In general.--In accordance with paragraph (2), the 
     Inspector General of each Federal agency, in consultation 
     with the Comptroller General of the United States, shall--
       ``(A) review a statistically valid sampling of the spending 
     data submitted under this Act by the Federal agency; and
       ``(B) submit to Congress and make publically available a 
     report assessing the completeness, timeliness, quality, and 
     accuracy of the data sampled and the implementation and use 
     of data standards by the Federal agency.
       ``(2) Deadlines.--
       ``(A) First report.--Not later than 18 months after the 
     date on which the Director and the Secretary issue guidance 
     to Federal agencies under section 4(c)(1), the Inspector 
     General of each Federal agency shall submit and make 
     publically available a report as described in paragraph (1).
       ``(B) Subsequent reports.--On the same date as the 
     Inspector General of each Federal agency submits the second 
     and fourth reports under sections 3521(f) and 9105(a)(3) of

[[Page S2361]]

     title 31, United States Code, that are submitted after the 
     report under subparagraph (A), the Inspector General shall 
     submit and make publically available a report as described in 
     paragraph (1). The report submitted under this subparagraph 
     may be submitted as a part of the report submitted under 
     section 3521(f) or 9105(a)(3) of title 31, United States 
     Code.
       ``(b) Comptroller General Reports.--
       ``(1) In general.--In accordance with paragraph (2) and 
     after a review of the reports submitted under subsection (a), 
     the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit to 
     Congress and make publically available a report assessing and 
     comparing the data completeness, timeliness, quality, and 
     accuracy of the data submitted under this Act by Federal 
     agencies and the implementation and use of data standards by 
     Federal agencies.
       ``(2) Deadlines.--Not later than 30 months after the date 
     on which the Director and the Secretary issue guidance to 
     Federal agencies under section 4(c)(1), and every 2 years 
     thereafter until the date that is 4 years after the date on 
     which the first report is submitted under this subsection, 
     the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit and 
     make publically available a report as described in paragraph 
     (1).
       ``(c) Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board Data 
     Analysis Center.--
       ``(1) In general.--The Secretary may establish a data 
     analysis center or expand an existing service to provide 
     data, analytic tools, and data management techniques to 
     support--
       ``(A) the prevention and reduction of improper payments by 
     Federal agencies; and
       ``(B) improving efficiency and transparency in Federal 
     spending.
       ``(2) Data availability.--The Secretary shall enter into 
     memoranda of understanding with Federal agencies, including 
     Inspectors General and Federal law enforcement agencies--
       ``(A) under which the Secretary may provide data from the 
     data analysis center for--
       ``(i) the purposes set forth under paragraph (1);
       ``(ii) the identification, prevention, and reduction of 
     waste, fraud, and abuse relating to Federal spending; and
       ``(iii) use in the conduct of criminal and other 
     investigations; and
       ``(B) which may require the Federal agency, Inspector 
     General, or Federal law enforcement agency to provide 
     reimbursement to the Secretary for the reasonable cost of 
     carrying out the agreement.
       ``(3) Transfer.--Upon the establishment of a data analysis 
     center or the expansion of a service under paragraph (1), and 
     on or before the date on which the Recovery Accountability 
     and Transparency Board terminates, and in addition to any 
     other transfer that the Director determines is necessary 
     under section 1531 of title 31, United States Code, there are 
     transferred to the Department of the Treasury all assets 
     identified by the Secretary that support the operations and 
     activities of the Recovery Operations Center of the Recovery 
     Accountability and Transparency Board relating to the 
     detection of waste, fraud, and abuse in the use of Federal 
     funds that are in existence on the day before the transfer.

     ``SEC. 7. CLASSIFIED AND PROTECTED INFORMATION.

       ``Nothing in this Act shall require the disclosure to the 
     public of--
       ``(1) information that would be exempt from disclosure 
     under section 552 of title 5, United States Code (commonly 
     known as the `Freedom of Information Act'); or
       ``(2) information protected under section 552a of title 5, 
     United States Code (commonly known as the `Privacy Act of 
     1974'), or section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

     ``SEC. 8. NO PRIVATE RIGHT OF ACTION.

       ``Nothing in this Act shall be construed to create a 
     private right of action for enforcement of any provision of 
     this Act.''.

     SEC. 4. EXECUTIVE AGENCY ACCOUNTING AND OTHER FINANCIAL 
                   MANAGEMENT REPORTS AND PLANS.

       Section 3512(a)(1) of title 31, United States Code, is 
     amended by inserting ``and make available on the website 
     described under section 1122'' after ``appropriate committees 
     of Congress''.

     SEC. 5. DEBT COLLECTION IMPROVEMENT.

       Section 3716(c)(6) of title 31, United States Code, is 
     amended--
       (1) by inserting ``(A)'' before ``Any Federal agency'';
       (2) in subparagraph (A), as so designated, by striking 
     ``180 days'' and inserting ``120 days''; and
       (3) by adding at the end the following:
       ``(B) The Secretary of the Treasury shall notify Congress 
     of any instance in which an agency fails to notify the 
     Secretary as required under subparagraph (A).''.

  Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, after the last exchange, I would point out 
that the Senate now has acted on a very important piece of legislation 
that has been 2 years in the works, that actually does reflect the 
ability for us to come together in a bipartisan consensus. So I rise 
today to discuss the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act--or 
DATA Act--an important bill that makes sure taxpayers and policymakers 
can track every dollar the Federal Government spends.
  It is pretty unbelievable that in this day and age, we don't have an 
easily accessible Web site for tracking every Federal tax dollar. 
Believe it or not, we do not. Instead, we have an incomplete and 
thoroughly confusing structure of financial reporting which most people 
can't understand.
  I have served in business. I have served as Governor of the 
Commonwealth of Virginia. So I have done business accounting and State 
government accounting. There is nothing like Federal Government 
accounting and the lack of standards and transparency.
  Our taxpayers deserve to know where their money goes, and it is our 
obligation to share that information in a clear and direct way. Today, 
Senator Portman and I, originally, along with Senator Coburn and 
Senator Carper, rise--and now that the Senate has acted, we are 
actually taking a giant step to correct that problem and to make sure 
taxpayers actually get the transparency they deserve.
  Since the Federal Government spends more than $3.7 trillion each 
year, with more than $1 trillion in awards, accurately tracking these 
funds in a consistent way can definitely be a big job. But the data 
collected by the budget shops, the accountants, the procurement 
officers, the grant makers should be combined and reconciled and then 
presented in a relevant, user-friendly, and transparent way. The 
various systems should be able to work together based on consistent 
financial standards so that policymakers and the public can track the 
full cycle of Federal spending. In a word, the public should be able to 
``Wikipedia'' where and how the Federal Government spends its money, 
and quite honestly, that is what the DATA Act will do.

  The DATA Act will make four important improvements that I want to 
quickly highlight.
  First, it creates transparency for all Federal funds. The DATA Act 
will expand the current site of usaspending.gov to include spending 
data for all Federal funds by appropriation, Federal agency, program, 
function, as well as maintain the current reporting for Federal awards 
like contracts, grants, and loans.
  Second--and this is a giant step forward; we are not going to get all 
the way there--we are starting down this path of setting government-
wide financial data standards. We closely monitored the efforts to 
increase transparency for the Recovery Act funds a few years back, and 
one reason--even for folks who did not like the Recovery Act--that 
oversight was successful is because they had consistent standards for 
reporting the data. Our taxpayers were able to see where the funds and 
projects were located in their communities.
  So the DATA Act requires the Department of the Treasury to establish 
government-wide financial data standards for Federal agencies so that 
every term reported is consistent across the Federal Government. This 
should clearly improve the quality of data.
  Too often we see an item appear in one area as a grant and in another 
area as an expenditure. Trying to sort through what's what is virtually 
impossible. This part of the DATA Act will help clear that up.
  Third, so we do not simply layer on additional reporting requirements 
without greater accountability, it actually reduces recipient reporting 
requirements. The DATA Act requires OMB to review the established 
reporting requirements for contracts, grants, and loans to reduce 
compliance costs based on these new financial data standards.
  I have long been concerned--and I know many of my colleagues on both 
side of the aisle--about the compliance costs for recipients of Federal 
funds. Too often a grantee has to report not once or twice but 
sometimes up to a half dozen times the exact same information. We have 
seen this in Virginia with many of our universities, such as UVA, where 
they actually have to report multiple times the same information to 
multiple agencies.
  If all this redundancy were streamlined, recipients such as the 
University of Virginia or the University of Tennessee could actually 
direct more money to programs and less to administrative costs.
  Fourth, it improves data quality. Under the DATA Act, the inspectors 
general at each agency will be required

[[Page S2362]]

to provide a report every 2 years on the quality and accuracy of the 
financial data provided to usaspending.gov. The GAO will create a 
government-wide report on data quality and accuracy. Too often the data 
that is reported at this point does not meet appropriate standards.
  We must have a reliable system in place to track Federal funds and 
compare spending across Federal agencies to get the best value for 
taxpayers and reduce duplication.
  In fact, in the GAO's annual report on duplication released this 
week, it highlighted the need for better data and specifically called 
out the limitations. GAO described a ``lack of reliable budget and 
performance information and a comprehensive list of federal programs'' 
as one of the biggest challenges in addressing duplication.
  I know many of the Members, when I started talking about data 
standards and better accountability, headed for the exists. I recognize 
this is not a topic that necessarily excites folks. But I see my 
colleague, the Senator from Tennessee, on the floor--a former Governor, 
as was I. If we are going to get better value for our taxpayers, we 
have to start with good data, we have to start with a better ability to 
monitor that data and follow it.
  In a world where people can Google all kinds of information, we ought 
to be able to follow the money in terms of where our taxpayer dollars 
head. We ought to make sure the recipients of those taxpayer grants can 
report that information in a single, consistent, and clear way. 
Policymakers and taxpayers should be able to assess the value of the 
dollars we invest in these programs.
  This has been a long and winding path. As a relatively new Member of 
the Senate--and I hear some of the debates about some of the old days 
in the Senate--I am not sure I was here in the old days. But this is a 
case where, after a 2-year period, working with Members of the House--
Chairman Issa and Ranking Member Cummings in the House--and working in 
the Senate with Senator Carper and Senator Coburn--Senator Coburn who 
is out today for health reasons--and my colleague who joined with me in 
pushing this bill from day one, Senator Portman--who, if time allows, 
will get back from a speech to add his comments as well--I would like 
to thank these Members.
  I would also like to thank all of the Senate cosponsors for their 
support of the DATA Act, including members of our Budget Committee, the 
Government Performance Task Force that I chair.
  I would like to thank in particular Senators Coons, Whitehouse, 
Ayotte, Johnson, and our Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray, and my 
staff, Amy Edwards, and all the others who have been relentless on 
working this through with other committees and the administration to 
make sure we got this bill done.
  So while we may not have resolved all the issues of the day, today 
the Senate acted in a unanimous, bipartisan way to actually provide 
better value for taxpayers, more transparency, and less bureaucracy. I 
would say for a Thursday afternoon--with all the other discussion going 
on--work well done.
  With that, I yield the floor.

                          ____________________