Legislation Would Setup Searchable Database to Track Federal Dollars
Sep 08 2006
WASHINGTON (Sept. 8, 2006) – The Senate last night unanimously passed legislation, sponsored by Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., that would create a Google-like search engine to track approximately $1 trillion in federal grants, contracts, earmarks and loans. The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (S. 2590), which Carper introduced with Sens. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., Barack Obama, D-Ill., and John McCain, R-Ariz., would require the White House Office of Management and Budget to create a free online, searchable system where the public can find information on most public expenditures, such as congressional earmarks, agency grants and federal contracts. The system would NOT include employee pay and benefits or any national-security-classified information. “If we’re going to hold the federal government accountable for its performance, then we need to empower the public with basic information about who’s receiving federal dollars and what’s being done with them,” said Carper, senior Democrat on the Senate Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management. “This bill will shed some much-needed light on the activities of most federal agencies, allowing the public to decide for themselves whether their tax dollars are well spent." More than 100 organizations ranging from Americans for Prosperity and Taxpayers for Common Sense to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and Greenpeace have endorsed S. 2590. Dozens of editorials boards across the country including the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Chicago Sun-Times and The Oklahoman have also endorsed S. 2590. Forty-three Senators co-sponsored S. 2590 including Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN), Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Tom Carper (D-DE), Susan Collins (R-ME), Joe Lieberman (D-CT), John McCain (R-AZ), Hillary Clinton (D-NY), John Kerry (D-MA), John Cornyn (R-TX) and others.