Following Congresswoman Nancy Boyda's lead, Congressman Dennis Moore from the Kansas 3rd District has released a list of the federal funding he has requested for FY2009.
Republican Congressmen Todd Tiahrt & Jerry Moran have not (typical from the party of "fiscal responsibility). Neither have either of our US Senators.
As we've said before, Boyda has taken the lead on earmark reform, and, hopefully, will succeed in passing legislation to force her Kansas colleagues who are lagging behind to catch up to her.
Under these new, more transparent rules, the total cost of earmarks in the 2008 federal budget dropped by 42% – the first decline in a decade.No one called him a maverick, but CongressmanTiahrt did get a particularly auspicious bit of recognition recently- Citizens Against Government Waste listed him the 34th biggest "porker" in their annual "Congressional Pig Book, " which ranks Members of Congress based on the dollar amount of earmarks they've secured for their district.
Calls for further reform are quickly gaining momentum. One proposal would require Congress to list all earmarks within the text of a bill, rather than in legislative committee reports (as has been a common practice in the past). The idea is worth considering, but it seems to me that shifting earmarks from one venue to another is not enough to end corruption. Instead, we must make the entire budget process more transparent.
That's why I'm sponsoring legislation to require all Member of Congress to post their earmark requests online – not just the earmarks they receive, but every earmark they request. Taxpayers have the right to know how Congress wants to spend their money.
I began holding myself to this standard of accountability last June, when I posted my 2007 earmark requests to my Congressional website. This was a sharp break from the traditional secrecy of the budget process: CNN went so far as to call me a "maverick." Maverick or not, it just makes sense that greater transparency will lead to a more efficient, more effective federal budget.
This blog doesn't have a problem with earmarks, but we don't mind providing perspective. Tiahrt was 34th, followed by Jerry Moran at 103rd, Congresswoman Boyda at 114th, and Dennis Moore at 367th.
Hopefully Kansas Republicans (and their online minions on the blogs) will remember Boyda and Moore are both out passed in "pork barrel spending" by our two Republican members.