Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

UPDATED ITEM: House, Senate reach deal on Obama-Coburn bill allowing internet search of government spending. Obama poised to, as he has joked, finally ``do something.''

| 9 Comments

UPDATED

The freshman Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) acknowledging the heaps of attention he gets, joked when he keynoted the Gridiron Club dinner last March, `` When I actually do something, we'll let you know.''

Obama is poised to pass his first bill, which may actually become a law, co-sponsored with Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK.), mandating listing of federal contracts and grants be available on a searchable internet database.

On Friday, House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said the House will vote on the measure next week, meaning the bill will vault to the head of the legislative line. The Boehner announcement came after Obama an Coburn reached a deal with House Government Reform Chairman Tom Davis (R-Va.).

The Obama-Coburn version of the measure (final House-Senate language is not available) calls for the website to be in existence by Jan. 1, 2007 and to include the amount of federal funds received in the last ten years and to specifically identify the entity getting the money. At present, Congress appoves funding for projects that are impossible for the public--even members of Congress--to identify.

"I'm pleased that the House leadership agreed with us that all federal spending should be accessible through this website. It doesn't matter if it's a grant, an earmark, or a contract, this legislation will allow the public to know how their tax dollars are being spent," said Obama in a statement.

It is not known yet if the White House is prepared to back the proposal.

OLD

Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) had put a secret hold on this bill by Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla) calling for federal contracts to be in searchable internet databases.

But the secret was cracked and Stevens folded.

Still, many steps remain until this becomes a law.

There is no House counterpart legislation-though Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor said there are negotiations ongoing with Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.).


Releases from the office of Sen. Barack Obama..........

AFTERNOON RELEASE

House and Senate Reach Agreement on Coburn-Obama Bill to Create

Internet Database of Federal Spending

--Obama, Blunt, Coburn, Davis, Carper agree on Grants and Contracts Database; Boehner announces floor action--

WASHINGTON---House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (Mo.), U.S. Senators Tom Coburn (Okla.), Barack Obama (Ill.), and Tom Carper (Del.), and Government Reform Chairman Tom Davis (Va.) today announced that they have reached agreement on legislation to increase accountability and transparency by establishing a public database to track federal grants and contracts.

House Majority Leader John Boehner (Ohio) announced he plans to schedule the agreed-upon language for House floor consideration next week.

"This process has focused on enhancing the accountability and transparency in the federal budget process," Blunt, Boehner, and Davis said. "The federal government awards approximately $300 billion in grants to roughly 30,000 different organizations. Each year, roughly one million contracts exceed the $25,000 reporting threshold. We need to be sure that money is spent wisely. Our legislation creates a transparent system for reviewing these expenditures so that Congress, the press, and the American public have the information they need to conduct proper oversight of the use of our tax dollars. The package we've agreed to move requires the Administration to establish searchable databases for both grants and contracts."

"I'm pleased that the House leadership agreed with us that all federal spending should be accessible through this website. It doesn't matter if it's a grant, an earmark, or a contract, this legislation will allow the public to know how their tax dollars are being spent," said Sen. Obama

"This bill is a small but significant step toward changing the culture in Washington. Only by fostering a culture of openness, transparency and accountability will Congress come together to address the mounting fiscal challenges that threaten our future prosperity. The group that deserves credit for passing this bill, however, is not Congress, but the army of bloggers and concerned citizens who told Congress that transparency is a just demand for all citizens, not a special privilege for political insiders. Their remarkable effort demonstrates that our system of government does work when the people take the reins of government and demand change," Dr. Coburn said.

"I'm pleased that we've been able to work out an agreement to let this important legislation move to a vote in the House," said Sen. Carper. "If we're going to hold the federal government accountable for its performance, then we need to empower the public with basic information about who's receiving federal dollars and what's being done with them. This bill will shed some much-needed light on the activities of most federal agencies, allowing the public to decide for themselves whether their tax dollars are well spent."

On June 21, the House unanimously passed HR 5060, the Blunt-Davis grants database bill. The Senate unanimously passed S 2590, the Coburn-Obama grants and contracts database bill, yesterday.

# # #

EARLIER RELEASE


Senate Passes Coburn-Obama Bill to Create Internet Database of Federal Spending

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Barack Obama (D-IL) and Tom Coburn (R-OK) today hailed the Senate’s passage of the “Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act,��? a bill that will create a Google-like search engine and database to track approximately $1 trillion in federal grants, contracts, earmarks and loans.

“By helping to lift the veil of secrecy in Washington, this database will help make us better legislators, reporters better journalists, and voters more active citizens,��? Obama said. “It’s both unusual and encouraging to see interest groups and bloggers on the left and the right come together to achieve results. This powerful grassroots alliance shows that at the end of the day, Americans want to see Congress work together to get something done and not continue to engage in the partisan gridlock that so often brings Capitol Hill to a grinding halt.��?

“Every American has the right to know how their government spends their money, and then to hold elected officials accountable for those decisions. I applaud my colleagues for unanimously supporting a bill that will aid the American people in that effort,��? Dr. Coburn said. “This bill is a small but significant step toward changing the culture in Washington. Only by fostering a culture of openness, transparency and accountability will Congress come together to address the mounting fiscal challenges that threaten our future prosperity.��?

“The group that deserves credit for passing this bill, however, is not Congress, but the army of bloggers and concerned citizens who told Congress that transparency is a just demand for all citizens, not a special privilege for political insiders. Their remarkable effort demonstrates that our system of government does work when the people take the reins of government and demand change,��? Dr. Coburn said.

More than 100 organizations ranging from Americans for Prosperity and Taxpayers for Common Sense to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and Greenpeace have endorsed S. 2590.

Dozens of editorials boards across the country including the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Chicago Sun-Times and The Oklahoman have also endorsed S. 2590.

Forty-three Senators co-sponsored S. 2590 including Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN), Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Tom Carper (D-DE), Susan Collins (R-ME), Joe Lieberman (D-CT), John McCain (R-AZ), Hillary Clinton (D-NY), John Kerry (D-MA), John Cornyn (R-TX) and others.

###


9 Comments

This could mean tough times for Alaska's famed
"bridges to nowhere"...which sounds like either Bush's Iraq exit strategy or the Cubs
front office!

The exit stragey in Iraq coward is to win!

At last! It is about time!

Maybe the senator could also put Rockford, which is in his home state of Illinois, on his radar map for a visit. We have been declared a disaster area due to catastrophic flooding on Labor Day. Sen Obama could possibly fit this visit in between one of his book promotional trips or possibly on his way to Iowa.

Just a thought!

Lenny please tell us the plan for victory. I have family there we would like to know. Plus read the Senate intel report please explain why we are there.

Lynn, are you in love with Obama and touting him on this blog? If you are, that's OK, but be straightforward about it and define your reasons and you might even win a few converts. If not, clap him off. Lets go on to some more important issues.

Ps: It sounds like a good bill.

to rlh: All these media folks, I wish they would tell us where they were when Obama was being soundly defeated in his congressional bid by a joke such as Bobby Rush? And they would list all his accomplishments when he was state senator?

Dale believes our military is a social program similar to the food stamps he buys his cattfood with, I have a son there. I served defeatist. We are fighting al-queda there so we do not have to fight them here. Have we been attacked since we have attacked al-queda in Afghanistan and Iraq? No! Dale you endorse liberal anti americans in primaries, dont talk down to me you should be ashamed of yourself!

HOLD CONGRESS ACCOUNTABLE FOR: 9/24/06 SUMMARY.
In 2006 the U.S. Senate’s stated many DOD “EXPERIMENTS THAT WERE DESIGNED TO HARM��? disabilities are still not in their victim’s needed for treatment records! This 12/8/94 Report “Lessons Spanning Half a Century" lists many Dept. of Defense (DOD) deliberate then known “to harm��? experiments.[8] Documented are 50 years of 1940's mustard gas & lewisite and 1945-1962 radiation exposures. The U.S. Supreme Court STANLEY 1958 drug [3] 1950's-1970's bacteria and viruses injury trials! Conducted in direct disobedience of the DOD Secretary’s 1/26/53 order! With the Secretary’s of all Services and DOD Research and Development (R&D) Board then known!![2] Following past practice they continue under the cover of our nation’s wars. This is proven by the Report’s identified Causes ongoing withheld R&D “to harm��? Effects. The U.S. Judicial Branch’s final authority on questions of law is Given to the Secretary of the Dept. Of Veterans Affairs’s (VA); 511(a)![4]&[9] A final decision with NO APPEAL authority on experiment alerting issues. On those that can be appealed, "THE COURT MAY NOT REVIEW THE SCHEDULE OF RATINGS FOR DISABILITIES OR THE POLICIES UNDERLYING THE SCHEDULE"![6] "THE COURT��? that “MAY NOT��? is a for Veterans only severely restricted U.S. Article I, NOT Judicial Branch Court. This is its 1994 Chief Judge’s by the 1988 [4] Veterans Judicial Review Act (VJRA) established with no teeth statement. PLEASE VOTE THE U.S. CONGRESS ACCOUNTABLE FOR THESE DELIBERATE “DESIGNED TO HARM��? ACTS. In particular, your members on the U.S. Senate and House Judicial, Veterans and Armed Services Committees!

Not available for the generally accepted medical community, for the victims and not in the “SCHEDULE��? is the KEY evidence. This is the DOD’s AT-THE-TIME R&D protocol recording of each formally “designed��? experiment’s revealing how, when, where Causes with their resulting medical Effects (C&E)!! Withheld are each separate service’s scheduled and conducted “to harm��? C&E “disabilities��?. They are co-ordinated and recorded by the DOD’s R&D Board and its successors.[2] Developed from the results of these individual “to harm��? trials are the overall DOD protections. Even after this 12/8/94 U.S. Senate alert a now 12 more years from the 50 years of omitted “POLICIES��? revealing evidence!! Harmfully prevented is each subject’s in & after service unique “HARM��? specific medical evaluation and follow-up treatment. Prevented is every experiment group’s overall 62 years of “disabilities��? lessons learned. The injured victim never the wiser becomes!

The 1973 National Personnel Records Center fire destroyed most of the past subject’s service documents. Congress’s 1974 Privacy Act censored the names of all witnesses from surviving and future records. A December 8, 1994 U.S. Senate response [8] to the 8 December 1988 VJRA [4] answer to the 1987 STANLEY U.S. Congress is responsible [3] is a to-date not realized: 1. Accountability for the DOD now MANY order disobeyed HARM EXPERIMENTS! And 2. That the injured subjects be allowed an unrestricted Judicial Branch redress, i.e., NOT be stopped as an "INCIDENT TO SERVICE" [1]. 1994 reported is that these subjects are DOD prevented from recognizing that this "TO HARM" is "associated with their military service". As after service to-date duplicated through the VA. This is by its final decision authority, the VJRA’s “may not review��? the “underlying��? R&D with its resulting destroyed, censored and withheld in-the-record evidence. A no repeating of the STANLEY are you OK follow-up. Then identified was this 1958 experiment. There will be no STANLEY to the U.S. Supreme Court bypassing of the VA’s “disabilities��? process. Captured is every “TO HARM" subject. All within a 15 to 20+ years of a “may not��? MUST BE COMPLETED greatly VJRA extended no appeal procedure. In 2006 there is no accountability for the 1953 order disobeyed! Withheld From U.S. Veterans and Military Personnel Are an Ongoing 53 Years of Experimentation “To Harm��? Protection Rights.[2] Lost Are Those Before Service Rights That All Other U.S. Citizens Including Rapists and Murderers Keep.[5] A justice denied for the greater good end justifies the means! Thereby approved is our children and grandchildren as PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE in-service “DESIGNED TO HARM��? guinea pigs.

Note that this vote responsible message is Internet Servers by content & IP address Blacklisted. Please pass it on to others. Thank you.

REFERENCES:
[1] Feres v. United States, 340 U.S. 135, 146 (1950).

[2] DOD Secretary’s 26 February 1953 NO non-consensual, human experiments Memo pgs. 343-345. George J. Annas and Michael A. Grodin, The Nazi Doctors and the Nuremberg Code; Human Rights in Human Experimentation (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992)

[3] U.S. SUPREME COURT, JUNE 25, 1987, U.S. V. STANLEY, 107 S. CT. 3054 (483 U.S. SECT. 669). It addresses the ‘congress is responsible’ for the issue of a 1958 DoD non-consensual, human drug trials and other experimentations.

[4] 8 December 1988. Veterans’ Judicial Review Act, Pub. L. No. 100-687, Div. A, 102 Stat. 4105 (1988) (VJRA)

[5] U.S. State Department, "U.S. Report under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights July 1994, Article 7".

[6] 17 & 18 October 1994. Chief Judge and Colleague Statements, Court of Veterans Appeals, Annual Judicial Conference, Fort Meyer, Va.

[8] December 8, 1994 REPORT 103-97 "Is Military Research Hazardous to Veterans’ Health? Lessons Spanning Half a Century." Hearings Before the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, 103rd Congress 2nd Session.

[9] "United States Code (USC) Title 38, 511. Decisions of the Secretary; finality." www.law.cornell.edu/uscode

What the U.N thinks is that iran will play by the rules and not attempt to make a nuke but we all know that they will at the end and it will be the end for a lot of us...look out for generic viagra its really good http://ipoo.org/2svj generic viagra

Leave a comment

Get the Sweet widget

More widgets

Video

Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

Stay in touch

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on September 8, 2006 11:42 AM.

Richard Armitage, the accidential leaker: Patrick Fitzgerald, what took you so long? was the previous entry in this blog.

Russert grills Cheney. Cheney on the defensive? is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.