September 26, 2006
ATTENDED THE BILL SIGNING for S. 2590, the "Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act," and then a followup meeting with Clay Johnson, Deputy Director of OMB, about implementation.
I'll have a full report later, but what struck me at the signing was the fully bipartisan nature of the bill's support, with lots of people from the left and right in favor. (It was also interesting that most of us in the anti-pork coalition had never met in the flesh before). That bipartisan character showed in the Senators and Representatives who showed up, too, with Rep. Henry Waxman showing up late, and President Bush joking that the affair had now become "fully bipartisan."
I was a little worried about follow-through here, but I'm now pretty confident that OMB will implement the bill properly, especially as there seems to be strong and continuing support from Sens. Coburn and Obama.
UPDATE: Here's a picture of Bush signing the Bill, flanked by its bipartisan array of sponsors.
Here's an article from the Washington Times, and here's a post by Danny Glover, in which Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo) sounds a bit churlish. That may be unfair, as this timeline from Blunt certainly gives bloggers credit.
This was a beginning: A small step along the road to less waste and more accountability, not a giant leap. But it's a good start, and we'll have to keep paying attention to these things so that more steps, big and small, will follow.
I thought about shooting video, but I'm glad I didn't bother, as it's already up along with a transcript and background information, at the White House site. And here's an AP story about the bill.
On implementation, the OMB folks are soliciting input from bloggers on what sort of information ought to be available, and in what forms. One thing stressed by several bloggers at the meeting was the importance of making the entire database public and available in raw form, so that people can analyze it in whatever fashion they think most helpful. It sounds like they're going to do that, and that's a very good thing.
ANOTHER UPDATE: More pics and coverage from Tim Chapman.
MORE: Bill Frist credits the blogosphere, left and right, for the bill's passage.
MORE STILL: TPM Muckraker, which played a vital role in the passage of the bill, didn't get invited. That's just wrong. The White House should have invited them, and one of the Democratic sponsors of the bill should have made sure it happened. The Sunlight Foundation people were invited, though.