HR.3308 - Taxpayer Transparency Act Of 2013

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The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a full Committee mark-up on February 11, 2014.  H.R.3308 was amended in the nature of a substitute during that meeting and the bill was reported by a voice vote.  There is no vote tally for bills approved by voice vote.

H.R.3308 moved to the House floor for consideration during a suspension session, where it passed by voice vote.  A suspension session is a Congressional procedural move that suspends the normal rules of debate to consider low cost, non-controversial legislation.  H.R.3308 will now be considered by the Senate where it has been referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs.  However, it is unlikely that the Senate will act on this legislation as it is a Republican bill negatively referring to the Affordable Care Act, and the Senate is controlled by Democrats who support the Affordable Care Act.

For more information on the Committee mark-up visit: http://oversight.house.gov/markup/full-committee-business-meeting-12/

Allison Glatfelter, Senior Analyst
Monday February 10th 2014
2/26/2014--Passed House amended. Taxpayer Transparency Act of 2014 - Requires each communication funded by a federal agency that is an advertisement, or that provides information about any federal program, benefit, or service to clearly state: (1) in the case of a printed communication, including mass mailings, signs, and billboards, that the communication is printed or published at taxpayer expense; and (2) in the case of a communication transmitted through radio, television, or the Internet, that the communication is produced or disseminated at taxpayer expense. Requires such notification to state that a communication is provided by the U.S. government, rather than at taxpayer expense, if the communication is funded entirely by user fees or by other sources that do not include federal funds. Requires any such printed communication: (1) to be of sufficient size to be clearly readable; and (2) to the extent feasible, to be contained in a printed box set apart from the other contents of the communication and to be printed with a reasonable degree of color contrast between the background and the printed statement. Sets forth similar requirements for audio, video, and email communications. Requires the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to develop and issue guidance on implementing the requirements of this Act. Prohibits judicial review of the compliance or noncompliance with any provision of this Act.

Received In The Senate And Read Twice And Referred To The Committee On Homeland Security And Governmental Affairs.
February 27th 2014 @ 12:00 AM

On Motion To Suspend The Rules And Pass The Bill, As Amended Agreed To By Voice Vote.
February 26th 2014 @ 12:39 PM

Debate - The House Proceeded With Forty Minutes Of Debate On H.r. 3308.
February 26th 2014 @ 12:25 PM

Considered Under Suspension Of The Rules.
February 26th 2014 @ 12:25 PM

Mr. Farenthold Moved To Suspend The Rules And Pass The Bill, As Amended.
February 26th 2014 @ 12:25 PM

Placed On The Union Calendar, Calendar No. 266.
February 25th 2014 @ 2:25 PM

Reported (amended) By The Committee On Oversight And Government Reform. H. Rept. 113-358.
February 25th 2014 @ 2:25 PM

Ordered To Be Reported (amended) By Voice Vote.
February 11th 2014 @ 12:00 AM

Committee Consideration And Mark-up Session Held.
February 11th 2014 @ 12:00 AM

Referred To The House Committee On Oversight And Government Reform.
October 22nd 2013 @ 12:00 AM

H.R.3308 or the Taxpayer Transparency Act of 2013 is a bill to ensure that information indicting the way federal documents are produced and paid for be included on the document.

Allison Glatfelter, Senior Analyst
Monday February 10th 2014

H.R.3308 or the Taxpayer Transparency Act of 2013 requires that federal agencies include wording indicating that their advertising and educational printed, audio, video and email messages are being paid for at the expense of taxpayer funds.   There are exceptions included for advertisements to solicit contractors for federal contracts and for employment retention materials for the armed services. 

Allison Glatfelter, Senior Analyst
Monday February 10th 2014
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H.R.3308 would likely impact every federal agency, as they would need to change their multi-media communications with the public to include a disclosure. 

Allison Glatfelter, Senior Analyst
Monday February 10th 2014

H.R.3308 or the Taxpayer Transparency Act of 2013 was written in response to recent large advertising campaign purchases by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to promote the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare. H.R.3308 will require that most communications from federal agencies to the public will contain a disclosure stating the source of the funding paying for the advertisement or educational information.

There are two exceptions in H.R.3308 for these mandatory disclosers and they include materials advertising a federal contract to possible contractors and materials for armed service employment retention. 

Allison Glatfelter, Senior Analyst
Monday February 10th 2014

H.R.3308 sponsor Rep. Billy Long (R-MO) spoke about the legislation and the need he felt for funding disclosure on federal agency materials.

“I believe Americans have the right to know how the government spends their dollars. The Taxpayer Transparency Act requires the Executive Branch to be transparent when using tax dollars to promote federal programs by including a disclaimer that the advertisement or promotional material is paid for by the taxpayers.”

H.R.3308 is co-sponsored by 112 House Republican Representatives. 

Allison Glatfelter, Senior Analyst
Monday February 10th 2014

H.R.3308 was introduced on October 22, 2013 by sponsor Rep. Billy Long (R-MO) and referred to the Committee on Government Oversight and Reform.  The Committee will hold a mark-up hearing on February 11, 2014 to consider H.R.3308.

Allison Glatfelter, Senior Analyst
Monday February 10th 2014

The Committee on Government Oversight and Reform is scheduled to hold a mark-up hearing on H.R.3308 on February 11, 2014.  It is likely this legislation will be reported by the Committee and head to the House floor for consideration.  

Allison Glatfelter, Senior Analyst
Monday February 10th 2014

The White House has taken no official position on H.R.3308.  

Allison Glatfelter, Senior Analyst
Monday February 10th 2014

No CBO report ordered yet!

Allison Glatfelter, Senior Analyst
Monday February 10th 2014

Section 1: Titles H.R.3308 the Taxpayer Transparency Act of 2013.

Section 2: Explains the regulations for federal agencies when communicating with the public.

Section 2a: States that federal agencies must identify the funding source for their advertisements.

Section 2b: Explains specifically how printed, radio, audio, video and email materials will need to disclose their funding source.

Section 2c: Lists exceptions for these disclosure requirements, which include an advertisement for a federal contract and armed service employment retention materials.

Section 2d: Provides definitions for terms used in the text of H.R.3308.

Section 2e: Directs that funds used for federal agency advertising must be from the advertisement budget for that agency.

Allison Glatfelter, Senior Analyst
Monday February 10th 2014

Congress’ power to consider such a bill is found in the necessary and proper and spending clauses of the US Constitution.

“To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States or in any Department or Officer thereof.”

Article I, Section 8

“No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.”

Article I, Section 9

Allison Glatfelter, Senior Analyst
Monday February 10th 2014

H.R.3308 is approximately 5 pages long, and has a Flesch-Kincaid readability score of 33.3 out of 100. Higher scores indicate material that is easier to read; lower numbers designate passages that are more difficult to comprehend. 

Allison Glatfelter, Senior Analyst
Monday February 10th 2014
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