Press Release

Taxpayers Win Earmark Transparency & Whistleblower Protections

The Senate Armed Services Committee approved language on the Defense Authorization bill last night which improves disclosure of Congressional earmarks and improves taxpayer protections for whistleblowers who work for defense contractors.

POGO wrote to Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin and Ranking Member John McCain this week to urge that the Committee fix language on the bill in order to ensure that all earmarks must comply with new public disclosure rules. Senator John McCain proposed language to fix the loophole. As a result, when Members of Congress request additional funding for existing contracts or programs, those earmarks and their sponsor will be made public.

POGO also helped lead the effort to ensure that the Committee adopted whistleblower protections for employees of defense contractors which had been proposed by Senator Claire McCaskill.

"We appreciate the leadership of Senator McCaskill and Senator McCain in standing up for good government," said POGO's Danielle Brian. "When the Congress closes its doors to make decisions, it is crucial to have taxpayer advocates in the room."