Sunshine Week a Chance to Strengthen Accountability
Senator will use this week to advance her government reform agenda aimed at bolstering transparency in government
March 12, 2012
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill is honoring Sunshine Week by expanding her efforts to bring about stronger accountability in government, including using the week to continue to fight for her plan for "cleaning up Congress."
As part of her agenda, McCaskill will call on her colleagues each day, starting Tuesday, to commit to a specific step, such as returning a set percentage of their allotted budgets, and establishing an independent watchdog to root out waste within the Senate.
"Missourians sent me to the Senate to help clean up Washington-and while we've made progress, Sunshine Week is a chance to recommit ourselves to stronger accountability in government," said McCaskill, a former prosecutor and Missouri State Auditor. "It's easy to talk about transparency, but it's tougher to embrace real change-like foregoing a pay raise, or giving back part of your budget. Each day this week, I'm going to urge members of Congress to take concrete steps toward a more transparent government, so folks in Missouri and across the country are better able to hold their leaders accountable."
McCaskill's efforts this week round out years of work to reform government, which have included:
- Helping cancel scheduled pay raises for members of Congress and introducing legislation to permanently end automatic annual pay raises for Congress
- Expanding protections for whistleblowers
- Establishing a moratorium on earmarks and introducing bipartisan legislation to permanently ban them from the legislative process
- Fighting to open up to the public committee consideration and markup of the National Defense Authorization bill
- Spearheading the effort to establish an independent watchdog in the form of a Senate Inspector General, to root out waste of taxpayer dollars in the chamber's budget
McCaskill also recently introduced landmark legislation along with Senator Jim Webb (Va.) to overhaul the federal government's planning, management, and oversight of contracting during overseas contingency operations and eliminate the systemic problems that have led to the waste of billions of taxpayer dollars.
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