Earmark transparency will be the subject of a panel discussion next Monday on Capitol Hill. The conversation is particularly timely as it occurs as the incoming House leadership decides whether to restrict, ban, and/or impose additional transparency requirements on the earmarks process. The Senate may also consider the issue. The discussion will focus on how to make the earmark process more transparent.
“The Future of Earmark Transparency” will take place on November 15 at 2pm on Capitol Hill in the Rayburn House Office Building, room 2203, and is hosted by the Advisory Committee on Transparency. The event is open to the public. To RSVP, email act(at)sunlightfoundation.com.
Panelists include Steve Ellis of Taxpayers for Common Sense, Jim Harper of WashingtonWatch.com and the Cato Institute, and me. Steve is a well-respected leader on the topic of earmark transparency, and his organization has joined a coalition* of lobbyists and good-government advocates in promulgating 5 earmark reform principles. Jim built a crowd-sourced tool to track congressional earmarks and has considered how earmarks should be reported electronically. I have tracked all the earmark legislation introduced this past Congress and put together a history of earmark reform efforts.
The Advisory Committee on Transparency is a project of the Sunlight Foundation, which supports the Congressional Transparency Caucus’ mission of promoting government transparency.
* Subsequent to the release of the 5 earmark reform principles, the Sunlight Foundation has joined the coalition of organizations and lobbyists. Additionally, the Sunlight Foundation has been actively working with Members of Congress to reform the earmarking process.