When we last heard from the Office of Management and Budget, Chief of Staff Rob Lehman told us they were working away at their earmarks database, which they fully intended to fully release–complete with information on all of the 13,000-some individual earmarks–as soon as it was done. (It had been scheduled to go up March 12, which turned out to be a little optimistic.) Well, from what we just learned from Lehman and some of his colleagues at OMB, “as soon as it’s done” will be tomorrow afternoon.
When it goes online, it will be here. OMB deserves credit for doing this. Visitors will be able to search the Web site by state, by agency, or download the data into spread sheets or mash it up on maps.
One of the things I’ve heard Lehman stress a couple of times is that they hope disclosing earmarks becomes enough of a regular, entrenched practice at OMB that it becomes part of the standard operating procedure of the next administration, whoever is at the top of it. Let’s hope that’s the case.