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Bipartisan Earmark Disclosure Bill Introduced in House

Reps. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) introduced legislation Tuesday that would establish a single online database for Members’ earmark requests, the companion to a bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate.

The House bill, like the bill offered in the Senate on Tuesday by Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), would establish standard reporting requirements for all earmark requests. The data on all earmarks would be made publicly available on a website maintained by the Secretary of the Senate and Clerk of the House.

“Putting all earmarks in a searchable website gives taxpayers, the press, and Congressional watchdog groups real-time access to the information they need to hold Congress accountable,” Cassidy said in a statement.

Speier added in a statement, “The American people demand accountability in how their tax dollars are spent, and establishing fully searchable databases on all earmark requests by members of Congress is a step in the right direction.”

The two House Members have worked together previously on transparency issues and offered legislation last summer to improve the disclosure of earmarks on Members’ websites.

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