Election fever is in the air as the Republicans gathered in Cleveland the 18th of July followed by the Democrats in Philadelphia this week. Conventions certainly generate economic activity for their host cities, but there are considerable costs as well. How do cities come up with money for their expenses? Are public funds available? We are all familiar with the box on our tax returns that we check if we want $3 of our tax money to go to the Presidential Election Campaign Fund. It used to be that a part of that money went to fund party conventions. In 2014, the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act redirected that portion into a ten-year pediatric cancer research fund. While the political parties themselves no longer get taxpayer money to pay for their conventions, grants from the Department of Justice to the cities of Cleveland and Philadelphia played a major role in providing security for the two events.Read More
Topics: Federal Spending
Last month, the House of Representatives adopted H.R. 2061, the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act), introduced by Congressman Darrell Issa. The bill aims to make federal spending more accessible, increase the availability of the data to the public, and improve oversight of federal funding. The legislation is also intended to offer a way to track federal spending, reduce compliance costs, improve transparency, prevent fraud, and improve the quality of data submitted on www.USASpending.gov.
Last week’s free webinar by the National League of Cities (NLC), National Association of Regional Councils (NARC), and Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) discussed the details of the sequestration process and “how city leaders from across the country can join together to urge Congress to find a bipartisan and balanced solution to reducing the deficit.” Sequestration is set to have a major negative impact on federal, state, and local economies. As if you needed reminding.
Math isn’t hard. It’s relatively easy when it comes to across-the-board budget cuts.
You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone on Capitol Hill, or any average American for that matter, who’s not in favor of federal financial accountability and transparency, particularly in the wake of the GSA Las Vegas spending scandal. The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (H.R. 2146), commonly referred to as the DATA Act, is intended to take federal transparency to the next level, making recipients and subrecipients of federal funding more accountable for how funds (grants, loans, or otherwise) are used.