Senator Coburn (R-OK), along with Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Russ Feingold (D-WI), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) have introduced S.3335, the “Earmark Transparency Act of 2010,” a bill that meets President Obama’s call for Congress to create a single, searchable database of all congressional earmark requests.
In his January 27, 2010 State of the Union address President Obama said, “Tonight, I'm calling on Congress to publish all earmark requests on a single Web site before there's a vote, so that the American people can see how their money is being spent.”
While Congress has taken some steps to make the earmark process more transparent, some members and special interest groups still prefer to keep the process a secret. The American people should not have to obtain search warrants to understand how Congress is spending their money.
The Earmark Transparency Act of 2010 would do the following:
• Create a user-friendly, online database – it would allow citizens to sort, search and download earmark data;
• Provide details on projects that are not currently available – it would include all relevant information, including the amount of initial request, amount approved by the committee, amount approved in final legislation, sponsor name, sponsor state or district, project name, and other relevant information;
• Allow the public to see what Congress sees – The bill would require the website to include the earmark request letter written by a member of Congress and any documents supporting the request that is sent to a congressional committee; and
• Make information available quicker – it would, consistent with the President’s speech, require all requested earmarks that are approved to be made public before a vote.
To view the text of S.3335, please click here.
For an executive summary of the legislation, please click here.
To view a section by section summary of the bill, please click here.
To read Dr. Coburn's introductory statement, please click here.
Organizations offer their support for S.3335. To view the endorsement letter from Americans for Tax Reform, please click here. For the endorsement letter from the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), please click here.