Where’s that earmark database Obama promised taxpayers? 

Transparency advocates want to know:

Congressional appropriators aren’t meeting the White House’s goal of creating a searchable earmark database, according to transparency advocates.

A group of watchdogs called EarmarkData.org is pressing lawmakers to follow through on the administration’s push to make it easy to search for requests and awards of earmarks, which are the provisions members of Congress insert into spending bills to steer federal money to specific projects.

The transparency reforms undertaken since last year by Congress, while significant, have fallen short of the searchable earmark database wanted by the White House, the watchdog group said.

Congress has met one basic standard set by President Barack Obama. The House and Senate Appropriations committees have started sections on their websites that feature links to each lawmaker’s earmark requests. The House website was started this month, while the Senate site went online last year.

Obama called on lawmakers in January to “publish all earmark requests on a single website before there’s a vote, so that the American people can see how their money is being spent.”

The longer politicians can keep from revealing how they sold their votes, the more opportunities they have to line their own pockets. Expect some serious heel-dragging on this.

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Mark Hemingway

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