Success! Senate to post expenditure reports

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The Senate is going to follow the House in posting their office expenditure reports online for the public to view. Yesterday, Sen. Tom Coburn offered an amendment to the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act requiring the Secretary of the Senate to post all expenditure reports online.

Coburn’s amendment has elements that are both better and worse than the House’s efforts to disclose office expenditures. The better is a lot better: reports will be posted in a searchable, itemized format. (The House plans to only post PDFs.) Unfortunately, we won’t get to see those reports until the 2011. Coburn’s amendment delays disclosure, likely for the Secretary of the Senate to build infrastructure for disclosure, until the start of the 112th Congress, or 2011. The House will begin disclosing later this year.

Below is the language of the amendment:

SEC. __X. REPORTING REQUIREMENT.

Section 105(a) of the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act 1965 (Public Law 88-454; 2 U.S.C. 104a) is amended–

(1) in the last sentence of paragraph (1), by striking “shall” and inserting “may”; and

(2) by adding at the end the following:

“(6) Beginning with the report covering the first full semiannual period of the 112th Congress, the Secretary of the Senate–

“(1) shall publicly post on-line on the website of the Senate each report in a searchable, itemized format as required under this section;

“(2) shall issue each report required under this section in electronic form; and

“(3) may issue each report required under this section in other forms at the discretion of the Secretary of the Senate.”.

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  • Mary Maddox

    Thank you Tom Coburn for working to
    have Congress show what this stimoulous
    package is and where the money is going!!
    I watch Fox NEWS! and I am amazed how
    our tax payers money is being wasted!!!
    I hope ACORN that have changed their
    name is still investigated. American’s
    must stand up for Freedom in America,
    and to choose the Health Plan they want
    I will not pay for Abortion on any Health
    plan. That is killing unborn babies at
    tax payers’s expense.
    I am praying for you to keep up the
    GOOD WORK! for our Nation Under God!

  • Has the Senate approved this or is it only an amendment that still needs to be voted on?

  • Pete

    So where are the numbers? It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack…..make it simple, list the expenditures by name……….

  • John Wonderlich

    here’s the bill with the associated language:

    http://thomas.loc.gov/home/approp/app10.html

    go to “leg branch”, and on the right there’s P.L. 111-68.

    I’m posting this here so I have a way of finding it again in the future.