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Earmark Requests Overload House Servers

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The House Appropriations Committee has an online interface for members to submit their earmark requests. I haven't been able to find it anywhere on the public portion of the committee's site, but Rep. Peter DeFazio gives us a good idea of what the interface must look like--click here to see what information goes into an earmark request. My favorite bits: "Briefly describe the activity or project for which funding is requested (please keep to 250 words or less, subcommittee online submission will not accept more)" and "Description of project’s legal authorization (e.g. Transportation Bill, Energy Bill, etc.) ... Not all projects are legally authorized and authorization is not a prerequisite for funding."

Yesterday was the deadline for members to submit their fiscal year 2009 earmark requests, and Roll Call reported that...

In a sure sign that earmarks remain as popular as ever, an overload of pork requests clogged the House Appropriations Committee’s Web site Wednesday, forcing an extension to the request deadline to next week.

The cynicism of Rep. Jim Moran appears to be well founded. Instead of a one year moratorium, how about making all those online earmark requests to the Appropriations Committee instantly public?