U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, D-Naperville, wants more information on how federal funds are distributed among states.
This week, Foster signed a letter to the Comptroller General of the United States requesting the Government Accountability Office conduct a study of the distribution of federal budget receipts and expenditures across the country. He and more than a dozen Democratic and Republican members of the Illinois congressional delegation in the House of Representatives sent the letter, according to a news release.
“Unfortunately, the federal government does not currently track how much each state receives in federal funds, nor the size of the imbalance between payments and returns,” according to the letter. “Having this information readily available would enable more accurate estimations of the true cost and benefits of federal programs to the residents of each state, providing legislators with another way to gauge the value of the legislation they will have the option to fund.”
Previous studies found Illinois loses between $20 billion and $40 billion each year because it pays more in federal taxes than it gets back in federal spending. The legislators are requesting an authoritative, nonpartisan report examining state-by-state distribution of federal funds, payment differential across states, and an explanation for the differences in funding.
“Ensuring the availability of comprehensive data is a vital step toward a fully transparent examination of which states are gaining and which are losing under the current system,” according to the letter.