A bill in the Senate that would increase government transparency and accountability has been put on “secret hold” by one or more Senators, who, by Senate rules, can pretty much kill the bill in this manner:
A bill to promote government transparency faces an uncertain future because of a far-from-transparent hold placed upon it in the Senate.
An unknown number of senators have blocked legislation to create a public, searchable Web site of all federal grants and contracts. Senate rules permit any senator to anonymously block consideration of a bill on the floor, effectively killing the measure.
I think the bill doesn’t go nearly far enough. I think it should cover every entity that gets any sort of government largesse. I want to be able to do a simple search and find every tax break or subsidy, every block grant, every instance of liability protection, every research subsidy, every below-market granting of grazing or mineral rights, every exemption from an otherwise applicable law, and so forth. All of these are mechanisms for transferring our tax dollars to corporate bank accounts.
Porkbusters is trying to find out who put it on hold by demanding that each senator explicitly deny doing so. But they need to expand their definition of pork. Pork spending is not just the bridge to nowhere stuff. Remove all of that and you wouldn’t cut the budget by 1%. The real problem is the vast amount of corporate welfare in the budget that is costing us hundreds of billions of dollars.