Time to party? Or time for transparency?
The Hill reported Wednesday about something that gives Public Citizen’s government reform expert Craig Holman some hope: bipartisan legislation titled, “The Deficit Committee Transparency Act.” The bill, introduced just yesterday, calls for specific measures to ensure transparency in the dealings of all members of the supercommittee, which is charged with coming up with a plan to slash $1.2 trillion in U.S. debt over the next decade before Thanksgiving, or the country faces automatic cuts per the deal reached during the recent debt ceiling debacle errrr “negotiations.”
Mike Lillis wrote of the bipartisan sponsors:
Reps. Jim Renacci (R-Ohio), Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa) and Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) say the high-stakes nature of the panel’s task demands assurances that the recommendations aren’t unduly influenced by lobbyists and special interests.
Agreed! Today, lawmakers pushing for transparency gathered for a press conference. Public Citizen’s Craig Holman noted,
“This is the first time that lawmakers are stepping up to the plate on the transparency issue for the supercommittee. They are late, but kudos.”
Now, as we write our partners at the Sunlight Foundation, with whom we joined in signing a letter pushing for supercommittee transparency, are live tweeting from the first meeting of the supercommittee delegates.
We would love to see other representatives on the supercomittee follow in the footsteps of Rep. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), as our partners at Public Campaign reported today.
Check out the letter that has helped galvanize this debate and see for your own eyes why we are so concerned about the money / politics issues at play in this great infographic on “The supercommittee’s K Street connections.”
p.s. And if you’d like to check out the fundraiser schedules of the supercomittee members who have NOT joined in distancing themselves from potential conflicts of interest — check out Political Party Time!