Center for Effective Government Welcomes Obama Administration's Announced Transparency Goals

WASHINGTON, Oct. 31, 2013—Today, the Obama administration released a set of new commitments to strengthen transparency and openness in the federal government. The goals were announced in London at the summit of the global Open Government Partnership. The reform policies are intended to make public information more open and easily accessible to the American people.

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Center for Effective Government Statement on Agreement to Reopen the Government and Avoid Default

WASHINGTON, Oct. 16, 2013—The bipartisan deal passed by the Senate reopens the government and avoids a default on U.S. debt. However, by only funding the government through January, it sets up another fight over funding the government in the next several months.

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The Debt Ceiling: Why You Should Care and How It Came to Be

A self-inflicted economic disaster looms on the horizon. Failure to approve a routine measure allowing the U.S. to manage its finances and pay the bills it already owes would have devastating effects. Increasing the debt ceiling is the only way to avoid a destabilization of the American economy.

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House Attack on Major Health Standards Likely Linked to Debt Ceiling Negotiations

With a contentious political fight brewing in Congress over the debt ceiling, Republican members of the House have indicated they are considering several “riders,” or supplemental legislative language, that would significantly limit the government’s ability to set standards that are essential for protecting public health and welfare.

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Leading Senator Calls for End of Fiscal Brinksmanship

On Sept. 17, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), chair of the Senate Budget Committee, spoke on the floor of the Senate and said congressional Republicans need to come to the negotiating table and end the looming fiscal standoffs that are less than two weeks away.

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Watchdog’s Recommendation Boosts DATA Act

Congress's watchdog office recommended that Congress pass legislation to advance federal spending transparency efforts across the government in a report released late last week. This is a major boon to advocates of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act) of 2013 – legislation being considered by the House and the Senate.

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More Transparency Could Help Fight Fraud and Strengthen Medicare

On Sept. 5, the Center for Effective Government, along with 13 other organizations, filed comments calling for the disclosure of Medicare payments to medical providers. Releasing the amounts of Medicare funds paid to providers could help fight fraud and strengthen Medicare.

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Whistleblower Reveals U.S. Spy Agencies' Secret Budget

Details on the secret U.S. spy budget spilled into the public realm yesterday after The Washington Post published selective pages from the 16-agency intelligence community’s fiscal year 2012 congressional budget justification, leaked by former Booz Allen Hamilton employee Edward Snowden.

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Tax Reform Should Not Happen Behind Closed Doors

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT) pledged to their colleagues in the Senate earlier this month that their tax reform proposals—namely on tax breaks and loopholes, both of great concern to corporate interests—would be kept secret for 50 years. In contrast, presidential records become accessible to the public after 12 years with certain exceptions.

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Key Transparency Fund Threatened Again in House Budget

A key fund for government transparency programs is once again facing cuts. On July 10, the House Financial Services and General Government appropriations subcommittee approved a bill that provides no funding for the Electronic Government Fund (E-Gov Fund), the driving force behind many recent open government innovations. Instead, the bill merges the E-Gov Fund with another fund and cuts their combined funding level 15 percent from last year.

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