GAO Report Rejects McConnell’s Latest Attack on Public Safeguards

On May 29, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report rejecting Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) latest ploy to stop EPA from moving forward with a proposed rule that would reduce carbon dioxide emissions from new power plants.

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Celebrating Sunshine Week 2013

Sunshine Week, a nationwide initiative highlighting the importance of open government and accountability, will be held this year from March 10-16. Created by journalists in 2002, Sunshine Week is designed to educate people on their right to access public information in understandable, user-friendly formats to participate more effectively in democracy and to use such information to protect and improve their communities.

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Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board Begins Work

This morning, the long-awaited Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board is holding its first public meeting. Congress created the board in 2007 to ensure privacy and civil liberties are protected from overzealous domestic counterterrorism activities.  However, the board has laid dormant since its creation. The Senate failed to confirm President Bush's nominees in 2008.

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Public Meetings of Super Committee Few and Far Between

It's been 48 days since the Super Committee's last public meeting on Sept. 8 (and over a month passed between the Super Committee's second and third public hearings). For those of us who have been watching the Super Committee since day one, eagerly awaiting information on the specifics of its proposal for cutting $1.5 trillion dollars from the federal deficit, 48 days of radio silence not only has us on edge, it also has us questioning the Super Committee's commitment to transparency and the democratic process.

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Congress Fails Transparency for Official Vehicles, Websites

Recent reports highlight Congressional weakness on two matters of routine transparency: official vehicles and website design.

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Congress forms Caucus on Transparency: Plans to Focus on Education, Legislation, and Oversight

Today, Reps. Michael Quigley (D-IL) and Darrell Issa (R-CA) announced the creation of the bipartisan Congressional Transparency Caucus in the House of Representatives.  The Caucus will work to develop policies and data standards that will give Americans better abilities to scrutinize the actions of government.

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House Sheds Light on Member Expenses

In an unprecedented move to increase congressional transparency, as of 1 pm this afternoon, the House of Representatives Statement of Disbursements is available online

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Sunlight Foundation & ProPublica Release Foreign Lobbying Influence Tracker

In 2008, K Street received $86 million from foreign sources to pursue their interests with representatives of the American people.  While states and populations abroad certainly have legitimate interests in U.S. domestic and foreign policy, the origins of much of that money are still largely shrouded in secrecy.  The data, until now, has been difficult for most Americans to access.  As a result, the Sunlight Foundation and ProPublica joined together to track which foreign governments and corporations are lobbying for representation in the U.S. Congress.

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Climate Transparency Lacking on Senate Websites

The websites of U.S. senators are a poor place to look if you are interested in their views on climate change, according to a recent analysis. Although websites are one of a politician's best ways to present their views and educate and engage their constituents about important issues, many of the nation's senators fail to do so, based on a review of websites by Grist, the environmental news outlet.

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Sen. Coburn Wants You to Examine His Records UPDATED

Last night, as expected, the Senate passed the $3.1 billion FY 2010 Legislative Branch appropriations bill by a vote of 67-25. Final passage of the bill included Sen. Coburn's amendment requiring all senators to disclose their yearly expenditures in a publicly searchable online format. The Senate approved the amendment by voice vote.

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