I'm a Pundit Too

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Remember what Bush said about earmarks?

The Bush administration has set up a database of all earmarks for your viewing pleasure. Earmarks were mentioned in the 2007 SOTU address. Ridding the Federal Budget of these earmarks will save the US Taxpayers billions. They are a pet peve of Citizens Against Government Waste. Not only are they a waste a dollars, they are usually put into the budget as a way for politicians to pay back those who voted them into power. Getting rid of them helps to put a knife into DC corruption.

From whitehouse.gov
What is an Earmark?

Earmarks are funds provided by the Congress for projects or programs where the congressional direction (in bill or report language) circumvents the merit-based or competitive allocation process, or specifies the location or recipient, or otherwise curtails the ability of the Executive Branch to properly allocate funds. Congress includes earmarks in appropriation bills - the annual spending bills that Congress enacts to allocate discretionary spending - and also in authorization bills.

Why did OMB Collect Information on Earmarks from Federal Agencies?

On January 3, 2007 President Bush called on Congress to cut the number and cost of earmarks by at least half [view excerpt from State of the Union]. To establish a benchmark for accurately measuring the President's goal, OMB requested agencies provide data on the earmarks for FY2005. The earmarks database establishes the needed benchmark and is consistent with the Administration's overall effort to encourage and inform the debate over how taxpayers' money is spent and what they get in return.

What does this Website do?

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 transparency and accountability to federal spending. This step is consistent with recent changes in the House Rules and Senate legislation, which require more disclosure for future earmarks. The database includes aggregate data on the number and cost of earmarks and displays that information by agency and State. In addition, the database provides details on individual earmarks. This database remains a work in progress. New features will be added in the weeks and months ahead.

Limitations of the Earmarks Database:

This database is not designed, and cannot accurately be used, to identify the individual congressional sponsors of earmarks. In addition, the recipient listed in the database may not in all cases represent the ultimate beneficiary of the earmark. For example, if the Federal Government provides funds to a specific recipient (e.g., a City), that recipient may then provide the funds or benefits to another entity and may not be required to identify the ultimate beneficiary to the Federal Government.

Search Features of the Website:


Browse appropriation earmarks by Agency
Browse appropriation earmarks by State
Browse authorization earmarks (UNDER CONSTRUCTION)
Search Website full text (UNDER CONSTRUCTION)

OR

Download a CSV (comma space delimited) zip file of all data available on this site for data analysis purposes.

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