Senator seeks to stop future conference spending sprees

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. Alex Brandon/AP

As congressional hearings on spending excess at the General Services Administration rage on, one lawmaker is introducing legislation aiming to prevent future waste.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., announced Wednesday she intends to introduce the Accountability in Government Act. McCaskill, chairwoman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight, has been investigating GSA spending practices since 2010.

The bill would require approval from a federal agency head or designee for all conferences costing more than $200,000. It also would require agencies that sponsor conferences to report details annually to Congress.

The legislation includes stricter provisions on bonuses, as well: It prohibits agencies from awarding bonuses to employees or supervisors under investigation by an inspector general or who have failed to follow contracting regulations, as well as any employee whose actions have contributed to “fraud, waste or abuse of taxpayer dollars,” according to the release.

"With this latest effort, I'm aiming to make sure that agency leaders can't just shrug off responsibility for wrongdoing, and to see that employees who betray the public's trust by wasting taxpayer dollars are punished, not rewarded, for bad behavior," McCaskill said in the release.

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