As required by rules instituted last year, members of Congress are posting their earmark requests online. And in a small improvement over past practice, the House Appropriations Committee is posting links to all those pages (in alphabetical order and by state). The Senate Appropriations Committee is doing the same.
So, great. You can go line-by-line and figure out what requests your member of Congress has put in. But what’s the total number of your members’ requests? What’s the total amount of his or her requests? Who requested the most earmarks, in dollars or in number? Where in your district is the money supposed to go?
HTML pages and PDF documents are very hard to work with and don’t allow us to answer these questions. The Earmarkdata.org project is asking Congress to produce information about what it’s doing in formats sites like WashingtonWatch.com can use.
If you haven’t already, please sign the petition at Earmarkdata.org And please tell a friend about this effort too.