Taking On Earmarks

Yesterday, House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey announced a major step forward in earmark reform, banning earmarks that go to for-profit companies. He also announced that the House would post every earmark request on a single website — right in line with what the President called for in his State of the Union address. These actions will help to reduce abuses and bring more transparency to earmarks.
The President believes that transparency is crucial to improving government, and that efforts like the one put forward by the House will help to avoid having taxpayers dollars being used for sweetheart deals for private companies. These steps raise the bar on accountability and transparency, and we urge the Senate to take similar steps.
With an eye toward greater transparency, we are also planning to publish all of the earmarks included in Fiscal Year 2009 and 2010 appropriations bills. All of the data for 2009 will be online at earmarks.gov by the end of the week, and the 2010 data will follow within a month. 
We will continue to address many of the problems we faced coming into office. Increasing the transparency and accountability for how taxpayer dollars get spent is an important step in preventing the abuse of earmarks.

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