Press Releases

Grothman Introduces Appropriations Transparency Act

Washington, March 11, 2024 | Timothy Svoboda (202-225-2476)
Tags: Budget

Congressman Glenn Grothman (R-WI) has introduced the Appropriations Transparency Act, legislation that will ensure the annual funding bills that cost taxpayers trillions of dollars are subject to more scrutiny, and make their effects known and readily accessible for public review.

This bill has received strong support by a coalition including Americans for Prosperity, Citizens Against Government Waste, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, Economic Policy Innovation Center, Heritage Action, R Street Institute, National Taxpayers Union, Taxpayer Protection Alliance, and Taxpayers for Common Sense. The bill is also cosponsored by Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Ben Cline (R-VA), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), Nancy Mace (R-SC), Mary Miller (R-IL), Barry Moore (R-AL), Ralph Norman (R-SC), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Claudia Tenney (R-NY), Randy Weber (R-TX), and Joe Wilson (R-SC).

“As a member of Congress, I believe it is imperative to enhance transparency for the public regarding the utilization of their taxpayer funds, particularly in the realm of appropriations, which stands as one of the most pivotal aspects of fiscal policy,” said Congressman Grothman. “Amidst rising inflation stemming from ineffective policies by the Biden administration, it is now incumbent upon Congress to take proactive measures and uphold transparency in the management of taxpayer funds."

“Members of Congress and the public deserve to receive complete, and easily digestible information about what’s included in appropriations bills before they are enacted. More transparent reporting is especially critical as Congress has gotten into the bad habit of relying on budget gimmicks, from changes to mandatory programs and inappropriate emergency designations, to evade agreed-upon spending limits. The Appropriations Transparency Act would release CBO scores of appropriations bills to promote greater transparency and accountability for fiscal restraint.” said Romina Boccia, Director of Budget and Entitlement Policy, Cato Institute.

“We are glad to see Rep. Grothman calling for consistent scoring across all budget-related legislation. As the heart of federal budgeting, appropriations bills are especially important for members of Congress to understand clearly.” said Kurt Couchman, Senior Fellow in Fiscal Policy, Americans for Prosperity.

“Appropriations bills are the most important fiscal policy legislation considered each year, yet the Congressional Budget Office - Congress’s non-partisan scorekeeper – is not charged with providing official cost estimates like they do for other bills. The Appropriations Transparency Act is a commonsense proposal that would simply end this loophole and require CBO cost estimates for appropriations bills.” said Paul Winfree, Ph.D., President and CEO of the Economic Policy Innovation Center (EPIC).

“During a time when soaring budget deficits are worrying Americans, National Taxpayers Union is proud to support the Appropriations Transparency Act, introduced by Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI). This legislation would make the commonsense fix to ensure that legislation reported out of the appropriations committees receives a Congressional Budget Office analysis of federal revenue and spending changes. This addition of more transparency around the fiscal impacts of legislation will help legislators make more informed decisions about how to spend taxpayer dollars.” said Nick Johns, Senior Policy and Government Affairs Manager, National Taxpayers Union.

“The R Street Institute is pleased to support the "Appropriations Transparency Act." This common sense reform would enhance understanding of the fiscal impact of annual spending bills. Nominal top line numbers for discretionary spending are only one small part of the total financial impact of appropriations. Changes to various accounts and underlying programs can have long-term implications that should be easy to access for the public and lawmakers alike. Improved information and accountability are essential to restrain Washington's sprawling debt.” said Nan Swift, Resident Fellow, R Street Institute.

“In the present fiscal climate, it is important American taxpayers know the costs of the annual spending bills. Thank you to Congressman Grothman for leading this common sense transparency effort.” said Steve Ellis, president, Taxpayers for Common Sense.

“TPA is proud to support Rep. Grothman’s Appropriations Transparency Act. This common-sense legislation will bring heightened transparency to the Congressional spending process by allowing members, stakeholders, and watchdog groups to review the wide-reaching budget effects of these bills before they come to the floor. Appropriators should rightly be subjected to the same standard as other panels, and have their bills scored by the Congressional Budget Office when they are reported from committee.” said David Williams, President, Taxpayers Protection Alliance.

Background Information
Currently, all bills reported out of committee receive a formal Congressional Budget Office cost estimate (or “score”) that estimates a bill’s likely effect on federal outlays and revenues compared to current law.

However, bills reported out of the Appropriations Committee are exempt from receiving a formal CBO score. In lieu of a score, CBO does provide some analysis and reports on pending appropriations bills to “interested parties.” However, this analysis is not made public and is only available to certain Members.

The Appropriations Transparency Act will amend the Congressional Budget Act by removing the exception that currently allows appropriations bills to bypass receiving CBO scores.


U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Glenbeulah) is serving his fifth term representing Wisconsin’s 6th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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