Bills Propose Online Earmark Database - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Cloud // Cloud Storage
News
5/12/2010
09:33 AM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Bills Propose Online Earmark Database

House and Senate bills would require a searchable Web site detailing all Congressional earmark requests, by legislator.

Following up on a request made by President Obama in his State of the Union address in February, both houses of Congress Tuesday introduced bipartisan bills that would create an online database of all Congressional earmark requests.

The House of Representatives and Senate bills, both titled the Earmark Transparency Act, would require Congressional administrators to launch, within six months of passage, a searchable Web site detailing all earmark requests by each legislator, including requested amounts of funding, associated bills for each request, and parties who had urged the requests' inclusion.

"The American people should not have to obtain search warrants to understand how Congress is spending their money," Sen. Tom Coburn, one of the Senate bill's co-sponsors, said in a statement.

The bill joins more than 30 other earmark reform bills that have been introduced since the beginning of 2009, according to a list compiled by the Sunlight Foundation, a government transparency group. A few of those bills included similar measures, but none had the bipartisan and bicameral backing that these two have. In addition, President Obama urged creation of such a database and Web site in this year's State of the Union address.

The database would have to include more than a dozen data points for each earmark request. In addition to amounts, associated legislator, and requesting party, the database would include information about the funding's beneficiaries (including whether they are governmental, for-profit, or non-profit entities), whether the earmark funds a continuing project, and a justification explaining the earmark's benefits.

Open government advocates applauded the bills' introduction, noting that earmarks are today handled in such a way that makes them opaque at best. "Currently, information on earmarks is scattered across more than 559 Web sites, making it virtually impossible to follow the money," Ellen Miller, executive director of the Sunlight Foundation, said in a statement.

Sens. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., Russ Feingold, D-Wisc., John McCain, R-Ariz., and Kristen Gillibrand, D-N.Y., introduced the Senate version of the bill, while Reps. Bill Cassidy, R-La. and Jackie Speier, D-Calif., introduced the bill in the House of Representatives.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of the Cloud Report
As the use of public cloud becomes a given, IT leaders must navigate the transition and advocate for management tools or architectures that allow them to realize the benefits they seek. Download this report to explore the issues and how to best leverage the cloud moving forward.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of November 6, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll