I found out last week that the word “earmark” has been around since the 16th century – originally meaning a mark in the ear of sheep or cattle. The whole point was that they were easy for others to see and showed who was responsible for what.
Today’s Washington has earmarks too.
Unfortunately, though, the earmarks of Capitol Hill aren’t nearly so obvious as an actual tag in the ear. There’s actually currently no easy way to see how earmarks are being requested and spent in the places we live. Sunlight’s Reporting Group has even been tracking earmarks that have just… disappeared.
We can change this with the Earmark Transparency Act – a bill which creates one point of reference for how our representatives are requesting and using these government funds in our districts. This is a big step for government transparency, but we need your help to make it happen.
Go to publicequalsonline.com/call/ and ask your representatives to co-sponsor the Earmark Transparency Act.
The Earmark Transparency Act has been introduced in both the House and Senate, but it needs co-sponsors to move forward. It’s time that we tell Congress that we want to know how our money is being used, and thank those representatives that are working to build a more transparent government.
This legislation is a common sense step to make the government more transparent and accountable by putting public information online in real time, but it’s up to us to make sure that Congress takes that step.