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109th Congress                                                   Report
 2d Session                                                     109-329


                                                       Calendar No. 576



                              R E P O R T

                                 of the


                          GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                          UNITED STATES SENATE

                              to accompany

                                S. 2590

                             together with

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS



               September 8, 2006.--Ordered to be printed

For Sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office
Internet:  Phone: toll free (866) 512-1800; (202) 512�091800  
Fax: (202) 512�092250 Mail: Stop SSOP, Washington, DC 20402�090001


                   SUSAN M. COLLINS, Maine, Chairman
TED STEVENS, Alaska                  JOSEPH I. LIEBERMAN, Connecticut
GEORGE V. VOINOVICH, Ohio            CARL LEVIN, Michigan
NORM COLEMAN, Minnesota              DANIEL K. AKAKA, Hawaii
TOM COBURN, Oklahoma                 THOMAS R. CARPER, Delaware
LINCOLN D. CHAFEE, Rhode Island      MARK DAYTON, Minnesota
ROBERT F. BENNETT, Utah              FRANK LAUTENBERG, New Jersey
PETE V. DOMENICI, New Mexico         MARK PRYOR, Arkansas
JOHN W. WARNER, Virginia

           Michael D. Bopp, Staff Director and Chief Counsel
                 Amy L. Hall, Professional Staff Member
             Michael L. Alexander, Minority Staff Director
                Kevin J. Landy, Minority Senior Counsel
                  Trina Driessnack Tyrer, Chief Clerk

                                                       Calendar No. 576
109th Congress                                                   Report
 2d Session                                                     109-329




               September 8, 2006.--Ordered to be printed


 Ms. Collins, from the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
                    Affairs, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

                         [To accompany S. 2590]

    The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs, to which was referred the bill (S. 2590) to require 
full disclosure of all entities and organizations receiving 
Federal funds, having considered the same reports favorably 
thereon with an amendment and recommends that the bill do pass.


  I. Purpose and Summary..............................................1
 II. Background.......................................................2
III. Legislative History..............................................5
 IV. Section-by-Section Analysis......................................5
  V. Estimated Cost of Legislation....................................8
 VI. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact.................................10
VII. Changes in Existing Law.........................................10
VIII.Additional Views................................................11

                         I. PURPOSE AND SUMMARY

    The purpose of S. 2590 is to increase transparency and 
accountability of Federal government expenditures by providing 
access to information on Federal funding awards through a 
single, searchable, publicly-available Web site. The Office of 
Management and Budget is required to ensure that the Web site 
is up-to-date, easily searchable and available to the public at 
no cost, so that information on Federal awards may be accessed 
by the public in a timely way.
    The bill requires the Web site to be fully accessible to 
the public by January 1, 2008, at which point data for fiscal 
year 2007 should be available on the Web site. After October 1, 
2008, information about credit card transactions is required to 
be available on the Web site. By January 1, 2009, the bill 
requires the single Web site to provide information on 
subgrants and subcontracts. However, the bill does give the 
Director of the Office of Management and Budget the authority 
to extend, by no more than 18 months, the deadline for 
implementing the subaward reporting requirement for recipients 
of federal funds through State, local and tribal governments. 
Individual award transactions below $25,000 are not required to 
be included on the Web site.
    Specific elements of information about Federal awards are 
required to be available on the Web site, including the name of 
the recipient, award amount, award type (e.g., grant, contract, 
subgrant, etc.), industry classification or Catalog of Federal 
Domestic Assistance indicator, location of the recipient and 
the primary place of performance, Federal agency and program 
source, and detailed title and description of each award. In 
addition, a unique identifier for each entity or parent entity 
receiving Federal funds is also required to be available on the 
Web site.
    The bill includes a temporary subaward reporting exemption 
for small entities. Entities that can demonstrate that they 
earned less than $300,000 in gross income in the previous tax 
year would not be required to report on subawards until the 
Director of the Office of Management and Budget determines that 
the imposition of the reporting requirements would not create 
an undue burden on those entities.
    In order to best determine the most cost-effective and 
efficient way to provide information on subawards, the bill 
establishes a pilot program to test methods of subaward data 
collection and reporting and to receive public feedback.
    Finally, the bill requires the Director of the Office of 
Management and Budget to submit annual reports to the Committee 
on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate and 
the Committee on Government Reform of the House of 
Representatives, including data regarding the usage of the site 
and public feedback received, an assessment of the reporting 
burden placed on recipients of Federal funding, and an 
explanation of any reporting deadline extension for subaward 
recipients of Federal funding through State, local, or tribal 

                             II. BACKGROUND

    As Federal spending approaches $3 trillion in fiscal year 
2007,\1\ the public's ability to track how their tax dollars 
are used remains a monumental task. There is currently no 
comprehensive, publicly-available source of detailed, accurate, 
complete and timely information on Federal government spending. 
Even within the Federal government, information on all spending 
decisions is not compiled in one place. There is a lack of 
transparency and accountability for all but the very largest 
spending decisions.
    \1\ Office of Management and Budget, Analytical Perspectives: 
Budget of the United States of America, Fiscal Year 2007, pg. 389, at
    Most Federal expenditures fall within several broad 
categories, and yet most are largely unseen by the public. 
According to the Census Bureau, the $2.2 trillion in Federal 
direct spending or obligations reported in the Consolidated 
Federal Funds Report for fiscal year 2004--the most recent year 
for which this data is available--can be broken into the 
following categories:
          Retirement and Disability--$667 billion
          Grants--$460 billion
          Procurement Contracts--$340 billion
          Salaries and Wages--$226 billion
          Direct Loans--$30 billion
          Guaranteed or Insured Loans--$29 billion
          Insurance--$773 billion
          Other Direct Payments--$773 billion \2\
    \2\ U.S. Census Bureau, Consolidated Federal Funds Report for 
Fiscal Year 2004, p. v, December 2005, at
    Grants and procurement contracts, two of the categories 
listed above, are just a small subset of the millions of 
financial transactions that the Federal government engages in 
on an annual basis. Yet in 2004, there were nearly 1.8 million 
contract actions and hundreds of thousands of grants awarded 
through more than 1,000 Federal programs.\3\ The Committee 
believes it is important that detailed information on these and 
other types of Federal spending be not only collected by the 
government for its own use, but also made available to the 
    \3\ FPDS-NG, Federal Procurement Report: FY2004, Section 1: Total 
Federal Views, p. 1, 2004, at
Reports/fpr--section--I--federal--views.pdf; U.S. Census Bureau, 
Governments Division, Federal Assistance Awards Database System, 2005 
3rd Quarter--Summary Table, at
    Without a rigorous and transparent accountability system in 
place to provide visibility into who is receiving Federal funds 
through contracts and grants, and for what purpose, there is a 
greater potential for fraud and abuse. One goal of S. 2590 is 
to mitigate the potential for fraud and abuse by allowing 
citizens to see how their tax dollars are spent. Greater 
transparency allows taxpayers to judge whether government funds 
are being used for purposes they consider valuable, or whether 
spending in certain areas is excessive or wasteful. It also 
allows the public to better understand, assess, and appreciate 
the scope and value of federal investments in their communities 
and to more fully participate in shaping priorities for Federal 
spending. The Web site will also allow state governments to 
better evaluate what funds flow to their states, what needs are 
or are not being met through federal funding, and may foster 
greater coordination between the Federal government and states, 
and between states and their subawardees.
    The Federal Government currently makes some information on 
Federal expenditures available through various databases and 
reports. These include, but are not limited to, the Federal 
Procurement Data System (FPDS, currently the Federal 
Procurement Data System-Next Generation (FPDS-NG)), the Federal 
Assistance Awards Data System (FAADS), and the Consolidated 
Federal Funds Report (CFFR). However, each system is limited in 
its capabilities and usefulness, and the systems are largely 
not compatible with one another.
    FPDS-NG is the primary source of information on Federal 
contracting. It was created in 1978 to provide a central 
repository for all Federal contracting information, and to make 
that information publicly available. GSA is the agency 
responsible for administering the system (41 U.S.C. 
    There are a number of weaknesses with FPDS that make it 
ineffective for providing timely, accurate information on 
procurement actions: first, not every agency is required to 
report to FPDS, meaning that the only way to gain an accurate 
count of procurement spending is to ask each agency 
individually. Second, the database is undependable, often 
providing data that is unusable or unreliable.\4\
    \4\ GAO has long documented the data problems associated with FPDS, 
and specifically in a letter to The Honorable Joshua Bolten, Director 
Office of Management and Budget on December 30, 2003, regarding 
Reliability of Federal Procurement Data, at:
    The Federal Assistance Awards Data System, or FAADS, is the 
primary source of information on Federal grants. It was created 
in 1980 to be the central source for information on all Federal 
assistance awards and is administered by the Census Bureau (31 
U.S.C. 6102(a)). FAADS collects information mainly in two 
formats: (1) an aggregate of all Federal assistance at the 
county level; and (2) an account of individual awards, 
including the amount awarded and the name of the recipient. 
Currently, 33 Federal agencies report to FAADS, which is nearly 
all Federal agencies that make awards. There remain, however, a 
few scattered small agencies that are not yet required to 
    \5\ Office of Management and Budget, U.S. Census Bureau, Federal 
Assistance Awards Database System User's Guide, for Federal Fiscal Year 
2005, Appendix A, October 2005, at
    FAADS is more reliable than FPDS for its data quality and 
timeliness, but it also has limitations, making it far from 
adequate for needed transparency. The following are the biggest 
limitations to FAADS: first, each quarterly report is 
independent of the one that came before it and does not reflect 
total awards given in a certain fiscal year (or over any time 
period other than the quarter being reported). In order to 
obtain a comprehensive picture of Federal grants and awards, 
one would have to collect all previous reports and compile the 
information independently. Second, the Census Bureau emphasizes 
the fact that FAADS is not a ``database'' and is therefore not 
searchable. Instead, FAADS is a ``sequential text file'' that 
can only be read with special computer software. Searches for 
information are then only permitted on a ``one-term-at-a-time'' 
basis, and then not across years. Third, FAADS only reports 
information on the identity of the initial recipient, and not 
the identity of second- or third-tier recipients. This means 
that grants given to States are only tracked to the State 
level, not through to subawards. Fourth, FAADS is only updated 
with new information on a quarterly basis, meaning that 
information may be as old as three months by the time it is 
    The Consolidated Federal Funds Report, or CFFR, is a 
summary report of Federal spending on a geographic basis by 
State, county and sub-county areas. This report is published 
every year by the Census Bureau and is distributed publicly, as 
well as to Congress (31 U.S.C. 6202). The CFFR utilizes data 
collected from FAADS, FPDS and a collection of Federal agencies 
to track Federal funding within a number of high-level spending 
categories: retirement and disability; other direct payments; 
grants; procurement contracts; salaries and wages; direct 
loans; guaranteed or insured loans; and insurance. One of the 
biggest problems with the CFFR is that the data is released on 
a two-year delay. Therefore, the most recent data currently 
available is from FY2004.
    The inability of FPDS, FAADS and CFFR to easily provide 
more than high-level spending totals demonstrates the 
government's general inability to provide transparency in its 
spending. Strides have been made in recent years to make some 
information available online, but more must be done. Real 
accountability for specific funding actions requires that 
better information be made available. The databases and Web 
sites currently available do not provide that level of 

                        III. LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    S. 2590 was introduced on April 6, 2006 by Senator Coburn, 
along with Senators Obama, McCain and Carper as original co-
sponsors. The bill was referred to the Committee on Homeland 
Security and Governmental Affairs. As of August 3, 2006, 
additional co-sponsors include: Chairman Collins, Ranking 
Member Lieberman and Senators Alexander, Allen, Bayh, Boxer, 
Chambliss, Clinton, Coleman, Cornyn, DeMint, DeWine, Durbin, 
Frist, Isakson, Kerry, Landrieu, McConnell, Reid, Santorum, 
Sessions, Snowe, Sununu, Thune, Vitter and Voinovich.
    On July 18, 2006, the Committee on Homeland Security and 
Governmental Affairs, Subcommittee on Federal Financial 
Management, Government Information, and International Security, 
held a hearing entitled What You Don't Know Can Hurt You: S. 
2590, the ``Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act 
of 2006.'' The Subcommittee heard testimony from The Honorable 
John McCain and The Honorable Barack Obama, as well as Gary D. 
Bass, Executive Director, OMB Watch; Eric Brenner, Director, 
Maryland Governor's Grants Office, Office of the Governor; and 
Mark Tapscott, Editorial Page Editor, The Washington Examiner.
    On July 26, 2006, the Committee met in a business session 
where it considered the bill. An amendment in the nature of a 
substitute was offered by Senators Collins, Lieberman, Coburn, 
and Carper and adopted by voice vote. The Committee voted to 
report the bill favorably, as amended. Senators present: 
Collins, Lieberman, Bennett, Akaka, Carper, Coburn, Dayton, 
Lautenberg, and Pryor.


Section 1. Short title

    This section provides that the bill may be referred to as 
the ``Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 

Section 2. Full disclosure of entities receiving Federal funding

    Subsection (a) defines key terms used throughout the bill: 
entity, Federal award, and searchable Web site.
    ``Entity'' is defined as any of the following type of for-
profit or non-profit organizations: corporation, association, 
partnership, limited liability company (LLC), limited liability 
partnership (LLP), sole proprietorship, other legal business 
entities and States or localities. The bill does not require 
the Web site to provide information about Federal funding 
received by individuals, such as a Social Security check or the 
salary of a Federal employee. The definition was drafted 
broadly with the intention of ensuring that information on 
financial transactions with all types of entities is included 
on the Web site. In addition, nothing in this bill prevents the 
Office of Management and Budget from making available on the 
Web site additional publicly-available Federal funding 
    The definition of ``Entity'' exempts subcontractors and 
subgrantees until January 1, 2009. In place of a requirement to 
provide subaward information concurrently with other required 
information, this bill establishes a pilot program for 
collecting and reporting subaward information, as detailed in 
subsection (d). The exception for subaward recipient 
information is made to address the concern that collecting 
subaward information will be more difficult than collecting 
information on prime funding recipients, and more time is 
needed to identify best practices for collection and reporting 
of subaward information. The presence of the delayed timetable 
in the bill is not intended to indicate that this information 
is less important than information on prime awards, but it does 
recognize that additional time might be needed to develop a 
system that balances access to information with the burden of 
reporting subaward data.
    ``Federal award'' is defined as any expenditure of Federal 
funds through: grants, subgrants, contracts, subcontracts, 
loans, awards, cooperative agreements, purchase orders, task 
orders, delivery orders, or other forms of financial 
assistance. The definition does not include individual 
transactions below $25,000 and, before October 1, 2008, does 
not include credit card transactions. The definition of this 
term is intentionally broad so as to capture as much Federal 
funding as possible. The inclusion of various types of 
financial arrangements is not in any way intended to limit the 
types of transactions that should be recorded on the Web site. 
The purpose of this legislation is to provide the public with a 
broad and highly detailed view of Federal funding, and the 
definition of what constitutes a Federal award is to be 
interpreted equally broadly.
    ``Searchable Web site'' means a Web site that allows the 
public to search by any of the elements listed and explained in 
subsection (b)(1). This definition is intended to guarantee 
that the Web site is not only available to the general public, 
but that it is also easily usable. The bill is intended to 
ensure that the Web site can be searched using similar 
techniques as those used on popular search engine Web sites. 
The language of this bill does not preclude the inclusion of an 
advanced search capability on the Web site.
    Subsection (b) provides general provisions regarding the 
Web site and the data to be submitted to the Web site.
    Paragraph (1) requires the Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB) to ensure that the Web site is operational and available 
to the general public no later than January 1, 2008. This 
provision does not preclude OMB from making the Web site 
available prior to January 2008. It also requires that the Web 
site comply with Section 204 of the E-Government Act of 2002, 
which states that the Director of OMB ``shall work with the 
Administrator of the General Services Administration and other 
agencies to maintain and promote an integrated Internet-based 
system of providing the public with access to Government 
information and services.''
    This paragraph also requires that there be no cost to the 
public to access the Web site.
    Finally, this paragraph requires that the Web site include 
certain data regarding each ``Federal award'' including: (1) 
the name of the entity receiving the award; (2) the dollar 
amount of the award; (3) information on the award including--
transaction type, funding agency (as well as the program within 
the agency), the North American Industry Classification System 
code (used to identify market sector) or Catalog of Federal 
Domestic Assistance number, and purpose of the funding; (4) 
location of the entity receiving the award as well as the 
primary location of performance under the award, including 
city, State, congressional district, and country; (5) a unique 
identifier of the entity receiving the award and of the parent 
entity of the recipient, when applicable; and (6) other 
information that OMB deems relevant.
    Paragraph (2) specifies that the Web site shall include 
data for fiscal year 2007 and each fiscal year thereafter.
    Paragraphs (3) and (4) authorize OMB to delegate the work 
of developing and maintaining the Web site to one or more 
Federal agencies.
    Subsection (c) of the bill addresses several provisions 
related to the operation of the Web site.
    Paragraph (1) specifies that OMB may use existing Federal 
databases, such as the Federal Procurement Data System, Federal 
Assistance Award Data System, and, as sources of 
data for the searchable Web site. Paragraph (2), however, 
specifies that the Web site will not be in compliance with the 
requirements of the bill if it simply hyperlinks to other 
Federal databases. The objective in establishing the Web site 
is to prevent the need for citizens to search multiple sites 
and learn the operations of multiple databases to know where 
their tax dollars are being spent. Citizens should be able to 
access information on all Federal awards through a single Web 
site, regardless of how many separate systems feed into it.
    Paragraph (3) requires that the Web site provide an 
opportunity for public feedback on the utility of the site and 
recommendations for improvements. This should provide an 
opportunity for feedback from entities receiving Federal funds 
and thus required to provide information, as well as anyone 
from the general public who uses the Web site for private 
research. Opportunities to provide feedback should be 
continuous, and improvements to the Web site should be on-
    Paragraph (4) requires that all funding information 
required in the bill be posted to the Web site no later than 
thirty (30) days after the transaction has occurred. This means 
thirty calendar days and not thirty business days.
    The Committee believes that the Web site should be easy for 
the public to locate and access, either through its own domain 
name or through prominence on a central Federal Web site, such 
    Subsection (d) requires the Director of OMB to establish a 
pilot program to address the issue of collecting subaward data. 
The Committee expects the Director of the Office of Management 
and Budget to incorporate the lessons learned and public 
feedback from the pilot program as it implements the subaward 
reporting requirements of this bill.
    The Director is required to establish the pilot program no 
later than July 1, 2007, to determine the most efficient and 
least burdensome means of collecting subaward data. The pilot 
project will last for two years, after which all subaward data 
will begin to be collected and integrated into the Web site. 
The Director of OMB may extend the subaward reporting 
requirement for subawardees that receive funding through State, 
local, and tribal governments for up to 18 months, to prevent 
imposing an undue burden on subaward recipients.
    Subsection (e) allows that any entity with a gross income 
of less than $300,000 in the previous tax year will be exempt 
from the subaward reporting requirements until the Director of 
OMB determines that the reporting requirements do not cause an 
undue burden on these entities.
    Subsection (f) specifies that nothing in the Act shall 
prohibit OMB from including on the Web site information that is 
publicly available from any other Federal database.
    Subsection (g) requires the Director of OMB to report to 
appropriate congressional committees regarding usage and public 
feedback on the Web site, the reporting burden placed on prime 
and subaward recipients, and the Director's use of the 
extension allowed in subsection (d).

Section 3. Classified information.

    This section clarifies that the Act shall not require 
disclosure of classified information.


                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                    Washington, DC, August 9, 2006.
Hon. Susan M. Collins,
Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Madam Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 2590, the Federal 
Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Matthew 
                                          Donald B. Marron,
                                                   Acting Director.

S. 2590--Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006

    Summary: S. 2590 would direct the Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB) to oversee the creation of a single comprehensive 
searchable Web site that would include information on all 
federal grants, contracts, and other funding awarded to public 
and private organizations.
    CBO estimates that implementing S. 2590 would cost $4 
million in 2007 and about $15 million over the 2007-2011 
period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts. 
Enacting the legislation would not affect direct spending or 
revenues. S. 2590 contains no intergovernmental or private-
sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act 
(UMRA); any costs to state, local, or tribal governments would 
result from complying with the conditions for receiving federal 
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of S. 2590 is shown in the following table. 
The cost of this legislation falls within budget function 800 
(general government).

                                      By fiscal year, in millions of
                                   2007    2008    2009    2010    2011

Estimated authorization level...       5       5       2       2       2
Estimated outlays...............       4       5       2       2       2

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that the 
bill will be enacted near the start of fiscal year 2007, that 
the necessary funds will be provided for each year, and that 
spending will follow historical patterns for similar programs.
    The federal government has many databases to monitor and 
report on federal spending. Three of the major government 
databases are the U.S. Census Bureau's Federal Assistance Award 
Data System (FAADS), the General Services Administration's 
Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS), and the U.S. Department 
of Health and Human Services' Web site, FAADS 
contains information supplied by most federal agencies 
regarding most types of federal spending except contracts. FPDS 
includes information provided by federal agencies regarding 
federal contracts. is a Web site that can be used to 
apply for many federal grants. FAADS, FPDS, and do 
not comprise a comprehensive information source of all federal 
spending and reportedly are not timely nor easily queried for 
    S. 2590 would expand the current federal databases related 
to government spending to establish a single comprehensive 
database of federal spending that would be available through a 
public Web site listing all entities receiving federal funds, 
including the name of each entity with a unique identifier, 
information on the award, the amount of the award, the location 
of the entity, and the purpose of the funding by January 1, 
2008. In addition, under the bill, OMB would initiate an 18-
month pilot program beginning in July 2007 to identify spending 
by subcontractors and subgrantees. That information would be 
incorporated into the comprehensive federal spending database.
    According to OMB, the government currently collects all the 
information needed to create a comprehensive database of 
federal spending. Using that information, CBO estimates that 
updating and expanding the government's current data collection 
efforts and adding a search engine through a Web site to create 
a single comprehensive database would cost nearly $10 million 
over the 2007-2008 period. In addition, CBO estimates that OMB 
would need $2 million annually to update and maintain the 
database after it is established. Thus, we estimate that the 
creation of a single comprehensive searchable database would 
cost about $15 million over the 2007-2011 period, assuming 
appropriation of the necessary amounts.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: S. 2590 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA. The bill would require state, local, and 
tribal governments to provide OMB with information on how they 
spend money received from the federal government. Such 
requirements could be costly to intergovernmental entities, but 
any costs would result from complying with conditions for 
federal assistance.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Matthew Pickford. 
Impact on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Sarah Puro. 
Impact on the Private Sector: Carla-Marie Ulerie.
    Estimate approved by: Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.


    Pursuant to the requirements of paragraph 11(b) of rule 
XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee has 
considered the regulatory impact of this bill and determined 
that enactment of this legislation would have no regulatory 

                      VII. CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, there are no changes to existing 
law made by the bill as reported.


    Transparency in government decision-making should not be 
limited simply to spending; it should also be extended to the 
decisions Congress makes about the tax code. The tax code is 
currently over 60,000 pages long, and it is filled with obscure 
and little-known tax breaks. Because we believe that 
transparency is one of the best tools we have to curb wasteful 
behavior, we look forward to working together and with the 
Committee to develop bipartisan legislation like S. 2590 that 
will bring increased transparency to the tax code. Tax code 
matters can be extremely complex but the American public has a 
right to know how the tax code affects them. American taxpayers 
also deserve to know if they're paying higher taxes in order to 
offset the loss of revenue due to special treatment for special 
interest groups. This is a complex issue that will require 
careful study. We intend to address this issue in the 
Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government 
Information, and International Security. We believe that a 
hearing addressing this issue will help us all to better 
understand the ultimate effects of targeted tax expenditures. 
Further study will also help to inform us on how to address the 
issue of greater transparency more comprehensively.
                                   Frank R. Lautenberg.
                                   Tom A. Coburn.