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We just received a release from Senator Coburn's office!! This is an important step forward, and now we'll need to ride herd on final passage and the bill's implementation to truly bring the promise of public disclosure and transparency to federal spending.
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ U.S. Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Barack Obama (D-IL) today hailed the SenateÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s passage of the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act,Ã¢â‚¬Â a bill that will create a Google-like search engine and database to track approximately $1 trillion in federal grants, contracts, earmarks and loans.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Every American has the right to know how their government spends their money, and then to hold elected officials accountable for those decisions. I applaud my colleagues for unanimously supporting a bill that will aid the American people in that effort,Ã¢â‚¬Â Dr. Coburn said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“This bill is a small but significant step toward changing the culture in Washington. Only by fostering a culture of openness, transparency and accountability will Congress come together to address the mounting fiscal challenges that threaten our future prosperity.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The group that deserves credit for passing this bill, however, is not Congress, but the army of bloggers and concerned citizens who told Congress that transparency is a just demand for all citizens, not a special privilege for political insiders. Their remarkable effort demonstrates that our system of government does work when the people take the reins of government and demand change,Ã¢â‚¬Â Dr. Coburn said.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“By helping to lift the veil of secrecy in Washington, this database will help make us better legislators, reporters better journalists, and voters more active citizens,Ã¢â‚¬Â Obama said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s both unusual and encouraging to see interest groups and bloggers on the left and the right come together to achieve results. This powerful grassroots alliance shows that at the end of the day, Americans want to see Congress work together to get something done and not continue to engage in the partisan gridlock that so often brings Capitol Hill to a grinding halt.Ã¢â‚¬Â