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Tag Archive: Earmarks Disclosure

DeMint Has a Point (Sort Of)

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After taking over Congress last January, House Democrats passed a House rule, all by themselves, that required disclosure of earmarks. We have an analysis of the House rule here; of course, there were bumps in the road implementing it, but we're starting to see an unprecedented amount of earmark disclosure from the House. The Senate, by contrast, put its earmark disclosure measures in a bill, S. 1,, the Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act, meaning that, until the House and President sign off on it, the Senate effectively operates under the old, nondisclosure rules (although Sen. Robert Byrd, the chairman of the Senate Appropiations Committee, has adopted his own rules; you can see here and here how Byrd's rule is working.

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OMB: No Caving on Earmarks Database

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I just had a chat with Rob Lehman, the chief of staff of Office of Management and Budget, who assured me that, contrary to this report, there is no "caving" on their announced intention to publish a comprehensive list of earmarks online. Lehman explained that OMB's release today will be something less than the complete database that would "identify and catalogue earmarks in all appropriations bills and certain authorization bills, including report language," in part because the data isn't ready. Those of us who've worked with federal data, especially federal data drawn from multiple agencies, would probably agree that the one week OMB gave itself to review all the data followed by one week to post it all online was probably overly ambitious.

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