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Press Release Published: Mar 26, 2024

Comer & Arrington Statements on GAO’s Improper Payments Report

WASHINGTON—House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) and House Committee on the Budget Chairman Jodey Arrington (R-Texas), co-leaders of the Improper Payments Working Group, today issued statements on the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) report, “Improper Payments: Information on Agencies’ Fiscal Year 2023 Estimates.”

“As our national debt continues to balloon, it’s imperative we reduce government spending and waste. It’s unacceptable our federal government made $236 billion in improper payments during the last fiscal year. This systemic mismanagement and waste of taxpayer dollars must be addressed. Our Improper Payments Working Group will continue to identify ways to address improper payments and ensure the federal government better stewards Americans’ hard-earned money,” said Chairman Comer.

“This past fiscal year, the federal government made $236 billion in fraudulent and wasteful payments – more than we spent on Homeland Security, the Department of Education, and NASA combined. In fact, since 2003, nearly $3 trillion in taxpayer dollars have been squandered on improper payments, a figure that is as stunning as it is unacceptable. In order to restore fiscal responsibility to Washington we must root out the gross mismanagement of Americans’ hard-earned tax dollars, rein in spending, and reverse the curse of a debt crisis that looms large over our children’s future,” said Chairman Arrington.

The GAO’s new report found there were $236 billion in improper payments in Fiscal Year 2023. Nearly 80 percent of Fiscal Year 2023 improper payments are concentrated in five areas: the Department of Health and Human Services’ Medicare and Medicaid programs; the Department of Labor’s federal pandemic unemployment assistance; the Department of Treasury’s Earned Income Tax Credit; and the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness. Since 2003, cumulative improper payments have totaled $2.7 trillion.