Earmark Hunting: Less Than 50 Reps To Go!
Well, today we’ve crossed below 50 wanted representatives, and there are more than 35,000 earmarks in the database. This is a tribute to the hard work of Americans who want to see the earmark process under control.
They’ve already succeeded, in one sense. The precedent we’ve set here will be carried on by the Office of Management and Budget in the White House next year.
As we near completion of the data collection phase, we’ll start to spend time on data quality—culling out any duplicates, correcting errors, and so on. (It’s a pretty conscientious group entering data, so I doubt we’ll encounter huge problems.)
Then we’ll tag the earmark requests that have been granted—the ones that have shown up in legislation (like this one!). These are the ones to focus on between now and the time the annual spending bills pass. (Fiscal year 2010 starts October 1st.)
In the end, we will have opened a huge window onto the earmarks ecosystem and the spending habits of Congress. Congratulations are already due to our earmark hunters, who have laid the foundation for some real insights into this process. Now we’ve got to get just this last fifty . . . .