Sen. Tom Coburn, R-OK, has performed a public service by compiling and posting on his official web site a spreadsheet containing information and data about all of the more than 6,600 earmarks requested by Democrats and Republicans for the $1.2 trillion Omnibus Spending bill.
That's the massive last-minute banzai bill concocted by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye, D-HI, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made sure the 111th Congress failed to adopt a 2011 federal budget as required by law and the Constitution.
Since without legislat ive authorization for spending the government will shut down by Saturday, this legislative monstrosity represents a last chance for Reid, Pelosi and the rest of the Big Spenders on both sides of the aisle in the worst Congress in living memory to throw a final tax-paid blowout on behalf of favored special interests, campaign donors, family members and former staffers.
Go here to view the earmarks database. It is filtered to make it easy for users to search for specific items such as all the earmarks requested by a particular senator. Readers who find examples they think are particularly outrageous, or otherwise noteworthy, should post them in the comments section below this post.
Examiner editors will keep a close eye on the comments and highlight those thought worthy of additional attention. So get to work, readers, and help us help you get the word out.
Among the most interesting questions raised by Coburn's posting of this database is what will President Obama now do? He has supported earmark reform in the past and the Omnibus bill would appear to present him with an idea opportunity to demonstrate that he truly is committed to earmark reform.
Also note that Coburn and Obama have a history on these issues. They collaborated closely in winning passage of the Federal Financial Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006, the “Coburn-Obama” bill that mandated creation of a Google-like database of federal spending.
President Bush signed Coburn-Obama into law in September, 2006, and the resulting database showed great promise, until Obama became president and his minions set about converting it to little more than a digital propaganda tool for the 2009 economic stimulus act.