WASHINGTON – More than $1.3 billion U.S. tax dollars were sent to Russia and China since 2017, according to a new analysis released today by Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Open the Books. This amount likely doesn’t reflect the total amount because federal agencies do not follow the trail of tax dollars to their final destination.
Senator Ernst and Congressman Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) are leading the charge to create transparency and accountability for the taxpayer dollars that are being handed out in China and Russia. Today, they are introducing the Tracking Receipts to Adversarial Countries for Knowledge of Spending (TRACKS) Act that would require every penny from a government grant paid to any organization in China and Russia to be tracked and publicly disclosed.
With data provided by the Congressional Research Service, Senator Ernst and Open the Books determined more than $490 million from U.S. grants and contracts were paid to organizations in China since 2017 and another $870 million were paid to entities in Russia.
“Washington’s continued spending is so out of hand, it is losing track of Americans’ hard-earned taxpayer dollars, but I am creating accountability for every penny,” said Senator Ernst. “It is gravely concerning that no one in Washington can actually account for millions sent to Russia and China for pointless projects. But I have the receipts. I’m shining a light on this reckless spending, so bureaucrats can no longer cover up their tracks and taxpayers can know exactly what their hard-earned dollars are funding.”
“Thanks to Senator Ernst’s work, we know the federal government has wasted more than one billion in U.S. taxpayer dollars on our adversaries. This is crazy, but to make matters worse, this may only be the tip of the iceberg,” said Representative Mike Gallagher. “The TRACKS Act brings badly needed transparency to how we spend federal dollars and will help us take steps to hold the government accountable and prevent taxpayers from supporting our adversaries.”
"Holding firms responsible to publicly report where and how they use their grants and contract awards can deputize private citizens and make them part of the solution. Radical transparency is revolutionizing U.S. public policy and is the information machine for democracy. Everyone has a stake in a more transparent, effective government,” said Adam Andrzejewski, Founder and CEO of Open the Books.
Some of these pointless projects in Russia and China funded by taxpayer dollars that Ernst has already tracked down include: