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Monday, February 06, 2006

PORKBUSTERS UPDATE: Want a Reason to Stand Up and Shout? Read Rep. Steve King's Letter

Rep. Steve King, R-IA, is promoting a series of reforms designed increase the transparency and accountability of Congress. The Republican Study Committee is circulating King's letter to Rep. David Drier, R-CA, who is Chairman of the House Rules Committee.

In his letter to Drier, King says Members of Congress should be more specific and more transparent about their financial situations. He also thinks it's time for Congress to get with it on electronic access:

"I also support full reporting of the personal finances of Members of Congress. We must change the allowances on the disclosure form from a wide 'range' of values for assets and liabilities to specific amounts. The current system is far too vague.

"The reports should be electronic, searchable and sortable so that the public can access the information from home. Members who quickly accrue unexplained personal wealth will be under scrutiny by the blogging public. Sunshine and public access will hold Members accountable.

"I also support reform that will make our process more open to the people we represent. When Members walk into the House chambers or a citizen watches House proceedings from the gallery, they have no way to know which bill or amendment is being debated.

"If we can project the vote on the wall, why can’t we project the subject of the debate on the wall like most states do? We should open up the process so it is not confusing or unfathomable to those who watch our work. "

King has much more to say and you can read it all here.

BTW, if you want to keep a bill-by-bill eye on how Congress is spending your tax dollars, go here to the RSC's Cost of Legislation/Money Monitor. The data is updated on a week-to-week basis, so you can see in detail how each week's votes impact spending. Last week was a good week, with a $38.8 billion decrease on mandatory spending.

And if you would like regular email alerts from the RSC, go here. This is where you get some of the best and most timely inside info on congressional action and inaction. And go here for bill-by-bill legislative analyses by RSC'S experts.