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A new bill would require the executive branch to report the amount of taxpayer funds spent on union activities by government workers, reversing the Biden administration’s obfuscation.

The Taxpayer-Funded Union Time Transparency Act introduced by Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Congressman Scott Franklin (R-Fla.) seeks accountability for the use of tax dollars on work that benefits unions instead of taxpayers. The bill would require the head of each federal government agency to submit a report to Congress outlining the amount of taxpayer-funded time spent by their employees on union activities, the use of public facilities for union activities at free or discounted cost, and the total amount of taxpayer funds spent on those activities.

Taxpayers deserve to know where their dollars end up after entering the government coffers, especially when those dollars are transferred into the pockets of labor unions. Public-sector unions use the funds to negotiate directly against the interests of the taxpayer and those who receive government services. Americans shouldn’t have to foot the bill for the privilege.

Under President Biden, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has stopped reporting the hours and costs involved in union-related “official time.” Previous administrations have regularly reported these costs to taxpayers, with the most recent report published in 2019. That year, federal employees spent 2.6 million hours of their workdays performing work on behalf of unions at a cost of $135 million. The costs today could be even higher.

In December, a letter led by Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) demanded answers from OPM after the webpage documenting historical “official time” reports was removed from the OPM website entirely. Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyo), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) joined the letter, which also asked OPM when they plan to issue new estimates of official time under the Biden administration.

ATR applauds the efforts from congressional Republicans to hold agencies accountable for financially supporting unions with taxpayer dollars. Members of Congress should cosponsor the Taxpayer-Funded Union Time Transparency Act led by Sen. Ernst and Rep. Franklin.