Congressional earmark analysis: Deadlines do matter

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Last week, the Sunlight Foundation asked the question: Do deadlines make a difference?
 
Rep. Jim Oberstar, who chairs the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, announced that he was recommending — but not requiring — members to post their earmark requests on line at the same time their requests were being made.
This differed from Appropriations Committee Chairman Rep. David Obey D-Wis., who took a stricter approach, requiring members to post a link online before they submitted their requests to the committee.

The Sunlight Foundation wondered whether it would matter. They concluded what every fifth grader with a homework assignment already knows — “apparently deadlines do matter.” By Friday, just 83 house members had disclosed their earmark requests for the upcoming transportation authorization bill.This compares to the 321 members who met Obey’s deadline for appropriations earmarks.

Meanwhile, Transportation Committee Communications Director Jim Berard told Roll Call last week that, “We are fully expecting members to comply. Members of Congress who do not [comply] are going to be called on it.”

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