Feb 2, 1998
Press Release
Washington, DC -- February 2, 1998. The President sent his budget to Congress today outlining his priorities for the new year. Under the President's priority to improve government performance through better management, the President latched onto two legislative ideas introduced last summer by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney: H.R 2063, the Debt Collection Wage Information Act, and H.R. 2347, the Federal Benefit Verification and Integrity Act.

As stated in the Budget for Fiscal Year 1999 (pages 44-45), "The Administration is launching an effort to reduce errors in Federal programs that lead to waste, fraud, or abuse." More specifically, the Administration will focus on improving non-tax debt collection and verifying the eligibility information on federal benefit applications.

According to Rep. Maloney, "H.R. 2063 addresses the difficult and costly problem of locating delinquent non-tax debtors by making use of the new National Directory for New Hires. This bill would dramatically improve the efficiency of debt collection efforts, and would bring in up to $1 billion annually in additional collections."

Rep.Maloney's second bill, H.R. 2347, addresses the problem of individuals applying for federal benefits providing false or erroneous information about their income or personal status. Rep. Maloney went on to state, "thousands of individuals defraud the government each year because they lie on their applications. In some cases, individuals inflate their income to get a Small Business loan, and others, individuals lower their income to obtain a student loan. Unfortunately, these individuals not only erode the integrity of government, but they also steal benefits away from those who really need them."

Rep. Maloney continued, "H.R. 2347 would emphasize that federal agencies verify and confirm eligibility information upfront, rather than investigate fraud and abuse after the fact. This common sense approach can save the government hundreds of millions of dollars each year."


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