Wednesday night, about three quarters of the way through the State of the Union, President Obama addressed earmark reform:
“I’m also calling on Congress to continue down the path of earmark reform…Democrats and Republicans. You’ve trimmed some of this spending, you’ve embraced some meaningful change. But restoring the public trust demands more. For example, some members of Congress post some earmark requests online. 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.”
Curiously enough, if you try to navigate to Earmarks.gov, you’ll be re-directed to the OMB earmarks page. The page contains explanations of what earmarks are, as well as links to an “earmark database.” I’m not well informed regarding earmarks and thus can’t speak to the quality and thoroughness of the information presented. The page does claim, however, that “This database provides more information on earmarks in one place than has ever been available through the Federal Government. It is part of an effort to bring greater accountability and transparency to Federal spending.”
I wonder how the President’s comments Wednesday night will impact this OMB page / database? Are there plans to expand this page, or maybe there is a plan to create an Earmarks.gov? I’ve emailed the White House requesting any relevant information. I’ll post a follow-up if I hear back.