WASHINGTON (IRN) – It sounds like something the local TV news is running in the sweeps months of November or February: the federal government paying people who are no longer alive.

U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-East Moline) says, in introducing a bill, federal retirees have collected $600 million from 2006 to 2010 even though they were deceased, and more than $1 billion has gone through the farm program to farmers who have not been among the living for three years or more.

Bustos says the Improper Payments Agency Cooperation Enhancement (I-Pace) Act “would make sure that all federal agencies would have complete access to the death master file database,” among other safeguards and requirements. She says she has a Republican co-sponsor and is optimistic of the bill’s chances.

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