More and more I’m convinced that anything we can do to hold down wasteful spending is a good thing. I believe the efforts made already this year with earmark reform and with lobbying reform will promote fiscal responsibility and discourage wasteful spending. Senator DeMint’s amendment was really a way to say to the taxpayers that we’re going to have the most transparent process possible. I think senators need to have a way to direct money to certain projects in their respective states, but that process ought to be a completely open one. It was quite a victory though, to be honest, that we got the Senate lobby reform back to where it should be–the original reform would still have left taxpayers in the dark on 95 percent of earmarks.

Democratic leadership tried to keep DeMint’s amendment from being considered, but in the end we got a strong majority of Republicans and nine Democrats to support increased disclosure.

I’ve always felt that public transparency should be an integral part of what we do. A strong code of ethics should guide our efforts to work on behalf of our constituents. Using a broad range of amendments, Republicans made significant strides toward improving the Senate lobbying reform.

Not only am I concerned about runaway government spending but I continue to believe that we’ve lost our hold on the size and scope of our government. It seems that anytime someone wants to get something done, they want the federal government to fund it. I will continue to use all the tools at my disposal to promote responsible spending policies to keep our country on sound financial footing.