The Day in Transparency 4/6/2011

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Here is Wednesday’s look at transparency-related news items, congressional committee hearings, transparency-related bills introduced in Congress, and transparency-related events.

News Roundup:

  • Koch Industries, America’s second-largest private corporation, spends millions on lobbying in Washington, often to advocate against government regulation. The money Koch Industries has spent on lobbying has increased from $857,000 in 2004 to $20 million in 2008. (Center for Public Integrity)
  • The House will vote Thursday on a stopgap spending measure that, if passed, will prevent a government shutdown for another week. (Roll Call $)
  • While a government shutdown would put roughly 800,000 federal employees temporarily out of work, Members of Congress can declare that their employees are necessary to fulfill constitutional responsibilities. (Politico)
  • The FCC has launched a website redesign in beta form, beta.FCC.gov, that incorporates Web 2.0 and open government principles. (O’Reilly Radar)
  • A bill has been introduced in the California General Assembly that would both expand the scope of state campaign finance reporting laws as well as simplify the reporting schedule. (Lobby Comply Blog)
  • Working with GOOD, GovLoop has created an infographic that identifies all of the Obama Administration’s 350+ open government projects organized by agency. (GovLoop)
  • Opinion: The Public Online Information Act (POIA), introduced yesterday in each chamber by Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) and Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) is a good first step towards providing easy public access to government information. (Mother Jones)
  • Opinion: A Letter to the Editor argues that the explosion of lobbyists and lobbying is a symptom, not a cause, of Congress’ immobilization. (New York Times)

Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 4/6:

House:

  • Financial Services. 10:00am. Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee.  On legislative proposals to improve the structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  Public witnesses.  2128 RHOB.
  • Oversight and Government Reform. 1:30pm. Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight, and Government Spending Subc.  On assessing the impact of greenhouse gas regulations on small business.  Public witnesses.  2154 RHOB

Senate:

  • Judiciary. Wed. 4/6. 10:00am. Hearings to examine the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, focusing on government perspectives on protecting privacy in the digital age. Senate Dirksen Building, 226.

Relevant bills introduced:

House:

  • H.R. 1376. A bill to require State governments to submit fiscal accounting reports as a condition to the receipt of Federal financial assistance, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
  • H. Res. 202. A resolution electing a Member to a certain standing committee of the House of Representatives; considered and agreed to. considered and agreed to.

Senate:

  • S. 726. A bill to rescind $45 billion of unobligated discretionary appropriations, and for other purposes; to the Committee on the Budget.

Transparency events scheduled for 4/6:

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