OMB Updates Earmarks Database
The federal Office of Management and Budget has made a couple of tweaks to the Earmarks database they maintain.
Earmarks serve as an end-around Congress can run on the normal processes to get funding for pet projects. The massive number and expense of earmarks persistently gives political observers fits due to what is frequently seen as wasteful spending.
The first change is that the database will now show earmarks as they move through the FY08 appropriations process. The number of earmarks and the dollar value of those earmarks can be viewed as a bill moves through the legislative process.
The second change is that earmarks for selected authorization bills resulting in expenditures in 2005 have been posted to the database. This is an expansion beyond appropriations legislation, recognizing that while most earmarks appear in annual appropriations bill, some appear in authorization legislation.
Instructive time can be spent with the Earmarks database. Voters who want to understand just how their Congressional representatives have been complying with a White House call to cut the number and cost of earmarks by half may see the results for themselves.