Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Barack Obama (D-IL) have proposed legislation that would significantly upgrade public access to federal spending information. Approximately $800 billion in federal contracts and grants would be compiled into one user-friendly database that would allow taxpayers to see how the government spends their money.
Despite the relatively low cost to create and the support of a majority of the Senate, the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (S. 2590) has been stalled by Senators Ted Stevens (R-AK), Robert Byrd (D-WV), and possibly others.
POGO, as well as many other groups from both sides of the political spectrum, are urging Senator Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) to override any holds placed on the bill and bring it to the Senate floor for an open debate and vote. Although Congress "talked the talk" about lobbying and earmark reform, it appears that some lawmakers are more interested in protecting pork projects, rather than improving public access to spending information and eliminating illegal influence peddling. So much for "government of the people, by the people, for the people."