Burgess in the News

Bipartisan bill incentivizing a full DOD audit introduced by Burgess

July 9, 2021
A bipartisan bill proposed recently by U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) seeks to increase transparency and accountability in the nation’s defense budget by ensuring that the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) achieves a clean audit opinion on its financial statements.

“While Congress is going through the appropriations process, we have a responsibility to demand transparency,” Rep. Burgess said on July 1. “It is astonishing that the DOD has not accounted for its taxpayer-funded resources and is the only major agency that has never been able to complete an audit of its full financial statements.”

The Audit the Pentagon Act of 2021, H.R. 4272, which Rep. Burgess cosponsored on June 30 with bill sponsor U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), would administer a 0.5 percent cut to the budget of any office at the Pentagon that does not receive an audit for the first year of the bill’s enactment, then rises to 1.0 percent in subsequent years, according to a bill summary provided by Rep. Burgess’ staff.

If enacted, H.R. 4272 would exempt funding for personnel, families and military health care from these automatic cuts, the summary says.

“I am encouraged by the progress made by the DOD in the last few years, but it is not yet enough,” added Rep. Burgess. “Incentivizing a full audit will bring the DOD into compliance with current law and correct a crucial missing piece that allows Congress to perform a chief governmental function: oversight.”

H.R. 4272 is supported by several national organizations, including Win Without War, Public Citizen, Taxpayers for Common Sense, FreedomWorks, and R Street.