Kennedy, Carper introduce Ending Improper Payments to Deceased People Act to save millions of taxpayer dollars
Jul 25 2023
WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) and Tom Carper (D-Del.) today introduced the Ending Improper Payments to Deceased People Act to save millions of federal dollars by curbing erroneous payments to individuals who have passed away.
The original bipartisan legislation set up provisions to save billions of federal taxpayer dollars by curbing erroneous government payments to deceased individuals for a temporary three-year period, and the new bill would make the temporary provisions permanent.
“Americans work too hard to see their tax dollars go to dead people. This bill would enable agencies to share information permanently so that government inefficiencies and miscommunications don’t waste money on fraudsters,” said Kennedy.
“We must be better stewards of American taxpayer dollars, and that means putting an end to wasteful spending. I am proud to have helped lead the passage of this bill in 2020 after over seven years of hard work to implement critical data sharing. Now we must ensure that this collaboration between agencies is made permanent so that our resources are used to help those who need it most,” said Carper.
The Ending Improper Payments to Deceased People Act would amend the Social Security Act to allow the Social Security Administration to share the Death Master File—a record of deceased individuals—with the Treasury Department’s Do Not Pay system on a permanent basis. This change would reign in the government’s pattern of making improper payments to deceased people into the future.
The bill would also allow Treasury’s Do Not Pay working system to compare death information from the Social Security Administration with personal information from other entities and to share this information with any paying or administering agency authorized to use the Do Not Pay system.
- Kennedy and Carper's Stopping Improper Payments to Deceased People Act became law in December 2020. The bill mandates the sharing of the Social Security Administration's Death Master File with the Department of the Treasury’s No Not Pay working system within three years after enactment. The three-year exchange runs from December 27, 2023 to December 27, 2026.
- In 2021, Kennedy wrote this op-ed sounding the alarm on the government sending over $1 billion to deceased Americans.
- In 2019, Kennedy questioned U.S. Government Accountability Office Comptroller General Hon. Gene L. Dodaro about improper payments to deceased people.
Full text of the Ending Improper Payments to Deceased People Act is available here.
MADISONVILLE, La. – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) wrote this op-ed in the Washington Examiner urging his colleagues in Washington to join his effort to reduce federal spending on health care by capping the price of insulin. Kennedy explains how making insulin affordable will improve the overall health of Americans with diabetes. This care helps them avoid the costly hospital visits and health complications that often fall to the taxpayer to cover.
Earlier this year, Sen. Kennedy joined Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) in introducing the Affordable Insulin Now Act of 2023, a bill which would ensure that all Americans, including those without insurance, have access to insulin that costs $35 per month or less.
Key excerpts of the op-ed are below:
“More than one in 10 Americans live with diabetes, and many of them cannot afford the insulin they need to stay out of the emergency room.
“For years now, Congress has nibbled around the edges of insulin affordability rather than addressing the issue directly. This failure to act results in needless suffering and financial stress for families living with diabetes, and it saddles the American taxpayer with billions of dollars in related healthcare spending.”
. . .
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that Americans spend $327 billion annually to cover healthcare expenses and lost wages related to diabetic care. Louisiana alone spends an estimated $5.7 billion on care related to diabetes each year.”
. . .
“This bill would ensure that all Americans, including those without insurance, have access to a 30-day supply of insulin that costs no more than $35.
“This plan isn’t one of Washington’s out-of-control spending policies. Any costs associated with capping insulin prices will be fully offset by cutting spending elsewhere in our $6 trillion annual federal budget. More importantly, improving access to affordable insulin can lower federal healthcare spending overall. That means we’re taking a big burden off both diabetics and taxpayers.”
. . .
“We cap the price of insulin at $35 per month today, and we can save thousands of dollars—if not tens of thousands of dollars—per patient in avoided hospital expenses. You don’t need to work on Wall Street to appreciate this return on investment.
“Without adding a penny to the federal budget, Congress can make it affordable for every American to get the insulin they need to stay healthy, go to work, care for their children, contribute to the economy and their community, and avoid costly emergency room visits that end up costing American taxpayers.”
Read the full op-ed here.
Watch Kennedy’s full statement here.
WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Federal Courts, Oversight, Agency Action, and Federal Rights, explained the danger that the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency Act of 2023 poses to the U.S. Supreme Court and the constitutionally-mandated balance of powers.
Key excerpts of Kennedy’s statement are below:
“You don't have to be Oliver Wendell Scalia to figure out that this legislation is meant to be a Court-killing machine. For example, it would allow any jackaloon out there in America in a tinfoil hat whose own dog thinks he's an utter nutter to file a motion to recuse the United States Supreme Court justice. Now, what could possibly go wrong? What could possibly go wrong? And my Democratic colleagues know that.”
“This bill is dangerous, but it’s unserious. And I think my colleagues, some of them, know that and they're trying to make a point.”
“I think all this heated rhetoric, about ethics, about Clarence Thomas being an ‘Uncle Tom,’—I mean, come on. I think it just destroys the institution. . . . But all this rhetoric has consequences.”
Kennedy’s full remarks are available here.
Kennedy-led Energy and Water Development bill passes Appropriations Committee unanimously, includes billions for Louisiana priorities
Jul 20 2023
WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, today applauded the Appropriations Committee for approving the Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act by a vote of 29-0.
“Making America’s economy and national security strong were guiding priorities for this legislation. This bill increases U.S. investment in key defense programs by six percent, ups our investment in nuclear energy and in producing its fuel sources right here at home, and cuts wasteful non-defense spending. Moreover, we’re increasing the Army Corps of Engineers’ funding by 20 percent over the president’s budget so that the Corps can keep protecting and strengthening Louisiana communities,” said Kennedy.
Kennedy helped secure the following energy and water infrastructure wins for Louisiana and America:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
- $5.52 billion for the Operations and Maintenance Account.
- $2.771 billion for the maintenance and dredging needs of America’s ports and harbors.
- $2.03 billion for Army Corps of Engineers construction projects.
- $353 million for the Mississippi River and Tributaries Account.
- $36.5 million for the J. Bennett Waterway, La. (Boggs Lock and Dam).
- Includes report language encouraging the Corps to expedite the process to determine eligible pump stations for rehabilitation in accordance with WRDA 22 Section 8152.
- Funds other Louisiana projects, including the J. Bennett Johnston Waterway deepening feasibility study; Mississippi River Gulf Outlet planning, engineering and design; Calcasieu River and Pass construction; and Morganza to the Gulf construction.
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) highlights
- 10 percent increase in weapons funding above FY23 enacted levels.
- Six percent increase in overall defense spending and a cut in non-defense spending.
- $35 million for the Sea-launched Cruise Missile, SLCM-N, to combat emerging Chinese and Russian threats.
- $142 million for nuclear core pit production so America’s nuclear weapons can be modernized and continue to act as a deterrent.
- $925 million for advanced nuclear fuel production.
- $420 million for work to support regulatory development, design and demonstration activities for small modular reactors.
- $255 million for quantum computing and information science, including $120 million for research and $125 million for the five National Quantum Information Science Research Centers in order to beat China in the quantum computing race.
- $30.1 million for the Delta Regional Authority.