According to a report in The Hill scores of House members are hiding their earmark requests in obscure corners of their official websites — sticking to the letter of their new rule while shunning its spirit.
The lawmakers are interpreting an ambiguous rule liberally, disclosing their requests as required on their official congressional webpages but avoiding any prominent display.
Under the new rule, touted by House Democrats and echoed by President Obama as a move toward a more open system of earmarking, members submitting spending requests for 2010 to the Appropriations Committee are required to create an active link on their webpages giving the details.
But the requirement to create a link allows for great disparity, from Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) down the line to the most junior member of the minority, in how and where those requests are displayed.
The result was a hodgepodge, with some members of each party proudly displaying their requests while many others apparently did their utmost to keep their requests out of public view.
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