With Debt Ceiling Deadline Looming, Representative Zach Nunn Leads Bill to Ensure Transparency in Federal Government Spending

Des Moines, Iowa — Representative Zach Nunn (IA-03) introduced new bipartisan legislation today, the Extraordinary Measures Transparency Act, to improve transparency in federal government spending with the debt limit deadline looming. The legislation, which is co-led by Representative Don Davis (NC-01), will increase accountability and transparency for the American people when ‘extraordinary measures’ are used to avoid a debt default.  
“One of my top priorities is making our government more transparent and accountable for the American people, and this bill is another step forward in that mission,” said Rep. Nunn. “The federal government should not be able to operate in secrecy, hiding costly spending decisions from public scrutiny.  Ultimately, this bill comes due to taxpayers, so every single person has a right to know what is happening.”  
Since January 2023, when the U.S. hit the debt ceiling, the Treasury Department has been implementing ‘extraordinary measures’ to avoid defaulting on its debt. That typically includes suspension of debt sales, delaying investments in government funds, and ceasing operations of federal employee retirement accounts, which over 30,000 Iowans rely on.  
The Treasury Department currently does not have to report what extraordinary measures are being used or how much the measures will ultimately cost the American people. The Treasury Department also is able to move around nearly half a trillion dollars with little oversight during this time.

The Extraordinary Measures Transparency Act will require the Secretary of the Treasury to make public: 

  • An accurate description of what extraordinary measures means and how the Treasury Department will use them if the debt limit is not raised by the deadline.  
  • How long those extraordinary measures will fund the government and the administrative costs to the American taxpayer.  
  • A true and unequivocal explanation of the cost of extraordinary measures over the period it is used.  

“Time is running out to raise the debt ceiling and prevent a catastrophic default,” said Rep. Davis. “The Treasury Secretary has been using necessary ‘extraordinary measures’ to prevent an economic disaster. However, informing the American public about these measures is equally important. Eastern North Carolinians deserve to know how the Treasury Secretary spends taxpayer dollars and the criteria for extending extraordinary measures.” 
Along with this bill, Rep. Nunn has introduced additional legislation related to the debt ceiling deadline and federal spending. The Protecting Americans Benefits Act will protect Iowans’ Social Security, Medicare, Military Pay and Veteran’s disability benefit payments from being delayed if the U.S. defaults on its debt and his Balanced Budget Resolution would amend the Constitution to require a balanced federal budget every fiscal year.  

The full text of the Extraordinary Measures Transparency Act can be read here