83 Lawmakers Reveal Transportation Earmark Requests

Posted May 15, 2009 at 4:10pm

Of the 321 lawmakers who made requests, just 83 House Members disclosed their transportation earmark requests for the upcoming transportation reauthorization bill, according to a government transparency group.

Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman James Oberstar (D-Minn.) set a May 14 deadline for Members to submit earmark requests to his committee. But he didn’t require them to post their requests online before submitting them to the committee, as is the practice with the Appropriations Committee.

This lack of uniformity in earmark disclosure requirements has irked at least two lawmakers, Reps. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), who are pushing legislation to require more robust online disclosure of earmarks, from Members and from committees.

Their bill would require that earmarks be posted online in real time and with substantive detail, according to the Sunlight Foundation, a nonpartisan organization focused on government openness. Staff at the group searched 433 Member sites to see which Members disclosed their earmark requests for the transportation bill.