Holiday hiking, history and hotels
Out and about in Alpine

Government accountability back on track

Remember Senator Ted Stevens' attempt to kill a bipartisan effort to establish a Web site where we all could easily see what projects Congress funds? If you don't, check out the zefrank video item in Tax Carnival #4.

Well, the Republican from Alaska had a change of heart. Or maybe he finally felt an iota of shame for blocking a measure designed to make federal lawmakers more accountable for their often pork-barrel actions.

Whatever the motivation, the bill got its day on the Senate floor last week and that body passed it. Essentially, it authorizes a Google-like search engine to allow people to track online approximately $1 trillion in federal grants, contracts, earmarks and loans.

The House passed a narrower version of the measure in June. That bill would allow searches of grants, but not contracts awarded to businesses.

Now we just have to wait for conference committee members to iron out the differences. Even if the final version isn't as far-reaching as the Senate bill, it's at least a positive step in the government accountability direction.

Special thanks to the hubby for holding down the tax fort while I'm on the road and alerting me to the activity on this earlier legislative impasse. I'll be home tonight to take taxes off your hands.

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