Members Should Voluntarily Disclose Appropriations Requests (Rep. Darrell Issa)

While the leadership of the Appropriations Committee forges a procedural shield to protect wasteful spending and thwart public scrutiny of projects by delaying the inclusion of "earmarks" until Conference Reports are brought to the House floor (where earmarks cannot be challenged), Members who support greater transparency should take the proactive step of publicly disclosing their FY 2008 Appropriations project requests on their official Websites.

Mine can be found here:

FY 2008 requests (posted March 2007)

FY 2007 requests (posted April 2006)

A handful of Members have already made this disclosure.  A San Diego editorial page from a paper that helped bring down "Duke" Cunningham recently wrote, "pork is in the eye of the beholder, and any reasonable requests that are going to improve infrastructure, beaches, law enforcement and water supply and quality for San Diego and Riverside counties sound good to us. What's important is that voters know just who their congressmen are lobbying for, whether it's local concerns or defense contractors. No more 'Duke Stirs.'"

While the Appropriations Committee may continue to protect the secrecy of Member project requests, the voluntary disclosure of project requests by Members increases transparency and is a step toward restoring public confidence in the House of Representatives.