Congressman Braley is honored by the Plain Language Center at a recent event at the National Press Club.
The time has come for Congress to exercise some real oversight to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse in our federal government. I learned the value of a dollar when I was growing up in Brooklyn, Iowa – and it’s our hard-earned tax dollars the government is spending.
As a member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, I’m working to make sure your tax dollars are spent wisely. The Oversight Committee has the authority to investigate the federal government and private industry, and I've called for the Committee and the Administration to investigate a number of important issues:
Holding Goldman Sachs Accountable
For too long, reckless speculators on Wall Street gambled away the savings of America's middle class families. To ensure this never happens again, I joined a bipartisan group of Republicans and Democrats to ask the SEC and Attorney General Eric Holder to hold all responsible parties accountable and make sure they are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. We’re continuing to follow up to ensure that reckless Wall Street speculators realize that their poor decisions have consequences.
Plain Writing Act
Government should be accessible to all its citizens. That's why I wrote a new law that requires the federal government to write documents -- such as tax returns, federal college aid applications, and Veterans Administration forms -- in simple, easy-to-understand language, making government more transparent and saving taxpayers millions of dollars.
The Plain Writing Act requires a simple change that’ll make a big difference for anyone who’s ever filled out a tax return or wondered what exactly a federal document was talking about. Writing government documents in simpler language will increase government accountability and will save Americans time and money. Plain, straightforward language makes it easy for taxpayers to understand what the federal government is doing and what services it is offering.
Examples of Plain Language in Use: Before and After
Here are three before-and-after examples of how plain language was applied to federal documents to make them easier to understand. For more examples, see http://www.plainlanguage.gov.
Example #1: Medicare Fraud Letter
Example #2: FDA drug warning label
Example #3: IRS form