WASHINGTON – In case you missed it, this morning U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) and her colleague Senator James Lankford (R-OK) joined Fox and Friends to discuss the latest on the ‘Tournament of Government Waste’ as well as their common sense legislation that would create more transparency and accountability by requiring every project supported with federal funds to include a price tag that is easily available for taxpayers.

Click here or on the image above to watch the full interview.

Tournament of Government Waste:

As March Madness heats up, so does the Tournament of Government Waste. After two rounds, Senator Ernst has two teams still competing. The first team, The Cat’s Meow, highlights a study funded from National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants totaling $1.3 million of your tax dollars that found cats that are pampered are less likely to cough up hairballs. The second team, Game Glitches, features a study supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), at a price of $1.6 million, that determined classic video games are hard, unless of course, players cheat. The winner of the tournament will be announced on Monday, April 1 and take home the title, ‘Waste of the Year.’ You can vote by clicking here.

The COST Act:

The COST Act requires every project supported with federal funds to include a price tag with its cost to taxpayers. Under this legislation, both the dollar amount and the percentage of the overall budget for any project, program, or activity would be disclosed in all public documents. To guarantee compliance, the COST Act gives authority to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to withhold a portion of a grant from a recipient that does not disclose the costs.

Current law requires most projects funded with taxpayer money provided by the Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS), and Education to disclose costs. Senator Ernst recently requested a review by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) to look into why recipients of federal funds are not disclosing the cost of their projects, as required.

In a recent report released, the GAO found these federal agencies aren’t monitoring or enforcing compliance and do not believe that it is their responsibility to do so. Senator Ernst's office found a number of questionable National Institutes of Health (NIH)-supported studies that do not provide the cost to taxpayers as required by law. You can find a more detailed summary HERE

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