Tag: transparency

Dueling Earmark Op-Eds

With a key vote on earmarks slated for next Tuesday in the Senate Republican Conference, Republican leaders are having it out on whether their party should eschew earmarking or continue the practice. The debate centers on the division of power between Congress and the executive branch.

On NRO’s “The Corner” blog, Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) calls earmarks a “phony issue.” Doing away with earmarks doesn’t reduce spending. It simply transfers authority for spending decisions to the executive:

Earmarks have been part of the congressional process since the founding of our country. As James Madison, the father of the Constitution viewed it, appropriating funds is the job of the legislature. Writing in the Federalist, he noted that Congress holds the power of the purse for the very reason that it is closer to the people. The words of Madison and Article 1 Section 9 of the Constitution say that authorization and appropriations are exclusively the responsibility of the legislative branch. Congress should not cede this authority to the executive branch.

And he criticizes the anti-earmark movement as “pseudo” fiscal responsibility:

While anti-earmarkers bloviate about the billions spent through earmarks, many of them supported the trillions of dollars in extra spending for bailouts, stimulus, and foreign aid. Talk about specks versus planks! Over the course of the last several years, the overall number and dollar amount of earmarks has steadily decreased. During that same time, overall spending has ballooned by over $1.3 trillion. In reality, ballyhooing about earmarks has been used as a ruse by some to seem more fiscally responsible than they really are.

Taking the other side, Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) writes in the Washington Post that earmarks are part and parcel of Congress’s abdication:

Those who view earmarking as an expression of the “congressional prerogative” sell Congress short of its preeminent role as the first branch of government. As the defenders of earmarking are fond of saying, earmarks represent less than 2 percent of all federal spending. Precisely! By focusing on a measly 2 percent of spending, we have given up effective oversight on the remaining 98 percent.

This lopsided exchange can be examined empirically. As the number of earmarks has risen significantly over the past two decades, the amount of oversight exercised by the House Appropriations Committee — as measured by the number of hearings held, witnesses called, etc. — has declined substantially. It is as if Congress has called a truce with the executive branch: Don’t hassle us about our 2 percent, and we’ll offer only token interference with your 98 percent.

Senator Inhofe misuses Federalist #58. The “power of the purse” refers to the fact that revenue measures must originate in the popularly elected House, strengthening its hand against the Senate, whose membership was to be selected by state legislatures. But he is right to castigate the earmark opponents who have thrown buckets of taxpayer money into the wind when Washington, D.C., has lately spun itself into a whirl.

Inhofe’s static view of earmarking produces the weaker of the two arguments, though. Rep. Flake is right to recognize earmarking’s dynamic effects. The fiscal weaklings—majorities in both parties—decline oversight and go along with spending bills they might otherwise oppose because of goodies for their home states or districts.

Earmarker comity may even cause fiscal conservatives to go wobbly. Try counting the number of amendments Senator Inhofe has offered seeking to strike earmarks in 23 years of debating spending bills on the Senate floor, and you may not need to raise a finger on either of your hands.

The right answer is to take what both of these debaters has to offer. Earmarks should go, and Congress should withdraw spending discretion from the executive branch while it reduces spending overall.

I’ll be speaking Monday at a Hill event on earmark transparency. Should be a barn burner!

A First Test for Republicans

Republicans’ hands have been strengthened by a wave of voter angst about big-spending and business-as-usual in Washington, D.C. But have they landed on their limited-government feet? The first test of that question comes next Tuesday.

That’s when Senate Republicans will likely vote on a proposal to bar themselves from requesting earmarks. Last year, House Republicans adopted that policy for themselves the day after House Democrats limited their earmarking to non-profits and government bodies.

The Senate Republican earmark ban is championed by Tea Party favorite Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.). Its strongest opponent is Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

Senator McConnell may have won his race in 2008 thanks to bringing home the bacon, but politics seem to have changed since then. Earmarker extraordinaire Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.) was bounced out of his office despite larding his district and state with federal pork.

McConnell’s own state may have changed, too. Witness the election of Rand Paul (without McConnell’s help). Paul supports the earmark ban.

McConnell has framed his opposition to the earmark ban as an argument for preserving Congress’ “discretion”—that is, its authority over the spending of federal dollars. Without earmarks, the administration will decide where the money is spent. But there’s a pretty long list of things McConnell could work for if he wants to defend Congress’ prerogatives, such as:

- Forcing the administration to be transparent about the grants it doles out.

- Limiting  or eliminating the administration’s grant-making and spending discretion.

- Withdrawing all the other massive delegations of authority that Congress has given to the executive branch.

- Reducing spending and cutting taxes so that spending discretion is where it should be: with the taxpayers who earned the money in the first place.

Earmarks are not a huge part of the federal budget, but that does not militate against ending them. Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) calls them a “gateway drug to federal spending addiction,” which is a folksy way of talking about the political science of “log-rolling.” Former member of Congress Joe Scarborough (R-Fla.), who has seen it first-hand, talks in this clip about how House and Senate leaders use earmarks to buy votes on legislation they want to get passed.

If earmarks go away as a tool for wheeling-and-dealing in Congress, members and senators will be less likely to sell out the country as a whole with bloated spending bills and Rube-Goldberg regulatory projects for the benefit of some local interest or campaign contributor.

I’ll be speaking next Monday at a Hill event on earmark transparency. The vote in the Senate Republican Conference is Tuesday. It’s a secret ballot, so any senator who doesn’t trumpet his or her support of the earmark ban almost certainly opposes it and supports the practice of earmarking.

Sunlight Before Signing Updated—With a Graph!

As a campaigner, President Obama promised that bills sent him by Congress would be posted online for five days before he would sign them. It’s a simple, measurable transparency promise that we have followed on this blog.

With attention beginning to turn to the 2012 presidential election (believe it or not!), President Obama’s fealty to campaign promises will become a focus. So here’s an update on his Sunlight Before Signing promise.

First, a brief summary table. Congress has presented President Obama 283 bills, 124 in 2009 and 159 in 2010. He posted six online for the requisite number of days in 2009, and 103 in 2010. (One emergency bill did not require posting. It’s non-posting is consistent with the president’s promise so we treat it as  “compliant” in summary materials.)

Number of Bills Emergency Bills Bills Posted Five Days
2009 124 0 6
2010 159 1 103
Overall 283 1 109


The graph below illustrates well that the administration has improved on the, frankly, lousy start it got with Sunlight Before Signing. In the month of May, every bill was posted on Whitehouse.gov for five days before the president signed it.

There remains a residuum of bills that don’t seem to get Sunlight Before Signing, and those may be the ones where political expedience takes precedence over the president’s campaign promise to his voters. But the White House is clearly positioned to fulfill this promise completely in the second half of the president’s term.

The chart below (that is, after the break) exhibits the same data—Sunlight Before Signing compliance by month—with percentages of non-compliance and compliance. After that, you’ll find a table of every bill the president has signed and its treatment in terms of sunlight.

There will be a short spate of bills during the lame duck session. The next report in late December will capture the entire first half of the president’s term, setting the stage for reporting on the White House’s 100% success rate in 2011 and 2012.

Full compliance will give the press and public a way to know exactly what hits the president’s desk, and an opportunity to make a habit of reviewing Congress’ work before bills become laws.

Sunlight Before Signing, Month-by-Month (%)

Did Not Receive Promised Sunlight Received Promised Sunlight
January 1 (100%) 0 (0%)
February 3 (75%) 1 (25%)
March 6 (100%) 0 (0%)
April 7 (100%) 0 (0%)
May 6 (100%) 0 (0%)
June 15 (100%) 0 (0%)
July 6 (100%) 0 (0%)
August 16 (100%) 0 (0%)
September 9 (100%) 0 (0%)
October 24 (100%) 0 (0%)
November 17 (100%) 0 (0%)
December 8 (62%) 5 (38%)
January 11 (85%) 2 (15%)
February 5 (100%) 0 (0%)
March 7 (64%) 4 (36%)
April 5 (50%) 5 (50%)
May 0 (0%) 13 (100%)
June 4 (19%) 17 (81%)
July 10 (36%) 18 (64%)
August 3 (27%) 8 (73%)
September 8 (24%) 26 (76%)
October 2 (15%) 11 (85%)

Sunlight Before Signing, Bill-by-Bill

Public Law Date Presented Date Signed Posted [(Linked)]? Posted Five Days?
P.L. 111-2, The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009
1/28/2009
1/29/2009
1/29/2009*
No
P.L. 111-3, The Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009
2/4/2009
2/4/2009
(2/1/2009)*
No
P.L. 111-4, The DTV Delay Act
2/9/2009
2/11/2009
2/5/2009*
Yes †
P.L. 111-5, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
2/16/2009
2/17/2009
(2/13/2009)*
No
P.L. 111-6, Making further continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2009, and for other purposes
3/6/2009
3/6/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-7, A bill to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 2105 East Cook Street in Springfield, Illinois, as the “Colonel John H. Wilson, Jr. Post Office Building”
2/26/09
3/9/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-8, The Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009
3/11/2009
3/11/2009
(3/5/2009)*
No
P.L. 111-9, To extend certain immigration programs
3/18/2009
3/20/2009
(3/19/2009)*
No
P.L. 111-10, To provide for an additional temporary extension of programs under the Small Business Act and the Small Business Investment Act of 1958, and for other purposes
3/19/2009
3/20/2009
(3/19/2009)*
No
P.L. 111-11, The Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009
3/30/2009
3/30/2009
(3/27/2009)*
No
P.L. 111-12, The Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2009
3/24/2009
3/30/2009
(3/24/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-13, The Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act
4/20/2009
4/21/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-14, To designate the United States courthouse under construction at 327 South Church Street, Rockford, Illinois, as the “Stanley J. Roszkowski United States Courthouse”
4/14/2009
4/23/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-15, The Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program Act of 2009
4/14/2009
4/24/2009
(3/27/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-16, The Statutory Time-Periods Technical Amendments Act of 2009
4/30/2009
5/7/2009
(4/29/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-17, A joint resolution providing for the appointment of David M. Rubenstein as a citizen regent of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution
4/28/2009
5/7/2009
(4/23/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-18, A bill to repeal section 10(f) of Public Law 93-531, commonly known as the “Bennett Freeze”
4/28/2009
5/8/2009
(4/23/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-19, The Civil Rights History Project Act of 2009
4/30/2009
5/12/2009
(4/29/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-20, The Protecting Incentives for the Adoption of Children with Special Needs Act of 2009
5/5/2009
5/15/2009
(5/5/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-21, The FERA
5/19/2009
5/20/2009
(5/15/2009)*
No
P.L. 111-22, The Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009
5/20/2009
5/22/2009
(5/20/2009)*
No
P.L. 111-23, The Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act of 2009
5/21/2009
5/22/2009
5/14/2009*
No
P.L. 111-24, The Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights Act of 2009
5/20/2009
5/22/2009
5/15/2009*
No
P.L. 111-25, The Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission Act
5/21/2009
6/2/2009
(5/28/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-26, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 12877 Broad Street in Sparta, Georgia, as the “Yvonne Ingram-Ephraim Post Office Building”
6/9/2009
6/19/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-27, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 300 East 3rd Street in Jamestown, New York, as the “Stan Lundine Post Office Building”
6/9/2009
6/19/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-28, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 103 West Main Street in McLain, Mississippi, as the “Major Ed W. Freeman Post Office”
6/9/2009
6/19/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-29, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 3245 Latta Road in Rochester, New York, as the “Brian K. Schramm Post Office Building”
6/9/2009
6/19/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-30, The Antitrust Criminal Penalty Enhancement and Reform Act of 2004 Extension Act
6/19/2009
6/19/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-31, The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act
6/16/2009
6/22/2009
(6/12/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-32, The Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2009
6/19/2009
6/24/2009
(5/20/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-33, The Native American Heritage Day Act of 2009
6/16/2009
6/26/2009
(6/16/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-34, To designate the Federal building and United States courthouse located at 306 East Main Street in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, as the “J. Herbert W. Small Federal Building and United States Courthouse”
6/19/2009
6/30/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-35, To designate the Federal building located at 799 United Nations Plaza in New York, New York, as the “Ronald H. Brown United States Mission to the United Nations Building”
6/19/2009
6/30/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-36, The Webcaster Settlement Act of 2009
6/19/2009
6/30/2009
(6/19/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-37, The Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2009
6/25/2009
6/30/2009
(6/25/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-38, A bill to provide additional personnel authorities for the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction
6/24/2009
6/30/2009
(6/19/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-39, To make technical corrections to the Higher Education Act of 1965, and for other purposes
6/26/2009
7/1/2009
(6/26/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-40, A bill to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the Women Airforce Service Pilots (”WASP”)
6/24/2009
7/1/2009
(6/29/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-41, The Korean War Veterans Recognition Act
7/27/2009
7/27/2009
(7/25/2009)*
No
P.L. 111-42, Approving the renewal of import restrictions contained in the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003, and for other purposes
7/27/2009
7/28/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-43, A bill to provide for an additional temporary extension of programs under the Small Business Act and the Small Business Investment Act of 1958, and for other purposes
7/30/2009
7/31/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-44, The New Frontier Congressional Gold Medal Act
7/27/2009
8/7/2009
(7/27/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-45, To authorize the Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office to use funds made available under the Trademark Act of 1946 for patent operations in order to avoid furloughs and reductions-in-force, and for other purposes
7/27/2009
8/7/2009
(7/27/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-46, To restore sums to the Highway Trust Fund, and for other purposes
8/4/2009
8/7/2009
(8/5/09)
No
P.L. 111-47, Making supplemental appropriations for fiscal year 2009 for the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Program
8/6/2009
8/7/2009
(8/5/2009)
No
P.L. 111-48, The Miami Dade College Land Conveyance Act
7/31/2009
8/12/2009
(7/31/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-49, The Judicial Survivors Protection Act of 2009
8/3/2009
8/12/2009
(8/5/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-50, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 46-02 21st Street in Long Island City, New York, as the “Geraldine Ferraro Post Office Building”
8/11/2009
8/19/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-51, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 601 8th Street in Freedom, Pennsylvania, as the “John Scott Challis, Jr. Post Office”
8/11/2009
8/19/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-52, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 2351 West Atlantic Boulevard in Pompano Beach, Florida, as the “Elijah Pat Larkins Post Office Building”
8/11/2009
8/19/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-53, The Utah Recreational Land Exchange Act of 2009
8/11/2009
8/19/2009
(8/11/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-54, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 41 Purdy Avenue in Rye, New York, as the “Caroline O’Day Post Office Building”
8/11/2009
8/19/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-55, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 431 State Street in Ogdensburg, New York, as the “Frederic Remington Post Office Building”
8/11/2009
8/19/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-56, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 123 11th Avenue South in Nampa, Idaho, as the “Herbert A Littleton Postal Station”
8/11/2009
8/19/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-57, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 1300 Matamoros Street in Laredo, Texas, as the “Laredo Veterans Post Office”
8/11/2009
8/19/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-58, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 702 East University Avenue in Georgetown, Texas, as the “Kyle G. West Post Office Building”
8/11/2009
8/19/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-59, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 19190 Cochran Boulevard FRNT in Port Charlotte, Florida, as the “Lieutenant Commander Roy H. Boehm Post Office Building”
8/11/2009
8/19/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-60, To extend the deadline for commencement of construction of a hydroelectric project
8/11/2009
8/19/2009
(8/11/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-61, Recognizing the service, sacrifice, honor, and professionalism of the Noncommissioned Officers of the United States Army
8/11/2009
8/19/2009
(8/11/09)
No ‡
P.L. 111-62, A joint resolution granting the consent and approval of Congress to amendments made by the State of Maryland, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the District of Columbia to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Regulation Compact
8/7/2009
8/19/2009
(8/7/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-63, The WIPA and PABSS Reauthorization Act of 2009
9/10/2009
9/18/2009
(9/10/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-64, A joint resolution providing for the appointment of France A. Cordova as a citizen regent of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution
9/11/2009
9/18/2009
(9/11/09)
No ‡
P.L. 111-65, To provide for the award of a gold medal on behalf of Congress to Arnold Palmer in recognition of his service to the Nation in promoting excellence and good sportsmanship in golf
9/21/2009
9/30/2009
(9/21/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-66, To provide for an additional temporary extension of programs under the Small Business Act and the Small Business Investment Act of 1958, and for other purposes
9/30/2009
9/30/2009
(9/30/2009)
No
P.L. 111-67, The Defense Production Act Reauthorization of 2009
9/24/2009
9/30/2009
(9/24/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-68, The Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 2010
9/30/2009
10/1/2009
(10/1/2009)
and
(10/23/09)
No
P.L. 111-69, The Fiscal Year 2010 Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act
9/30/2009
10/1/2009
(9/30/2009)
No
P.L. 111-70, To amend the Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act of 1998 to reauthorize the United States Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy
9/30/2009
10/9/2009
(10/1/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-71, To amend the United States International Broadcasting Act of 1994 to extend by one year the operation of Radio Free Asia, and for other purposes
9/30/2009
10/9/2009
(10/1/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-72, To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to delay the date on which the accreditation requirement under the Medicare Program applies to suppliers of durable medical equipment that are pharmacies
10/7/2009
10/13/2009
(10/7/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-73, The Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act of 2009
10/5/2009
10/15/2009
(10/2/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-74, To designate the Federal building and United States courthouse located at McKinley Avenue and Third Street, SW., Canton, Ohio, as the “Ralph Regula Federal Building and United States Courthouse”
10/7/2009
10/19/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-75, To designate the United States courthouse located at 525 Magoffin Avenue in El Paso, Texas, as the “Albert Armendariz, Sr., United States Courthouse”
10/7/2009
10/19/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-76, To provide for the transfer of certain Federal Property to the Galveston Historical Foundation
10/7/2009
10/19/2009
(10/7/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-77, To designate the Federal building located at 844 North Rush Street in Chicago, Illinois, as the “William O. Lipinski Federal Building”
10/7/2009
10/19/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-78, To designate the United States courthouse located at 301 Simonton Street in Key West, Florida, as the “Sidney M. Aronovitz United States Courthouse”
10/7/2009
10/19/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-79, The Foreign Evidence Request Efficiency Act of 2009
10/7/2009
10/19/2009
(10/7/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-80, The Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010
10/16/2009
10/21/2009
(10/9/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-81, The Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act of 2009
10/16/2009
10/22/2009
(10/16/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-82, A bill to authorize major medical facility leases for the Department of Veterans Affairs for fiscal year 2010, and for other purposes
10/15/2009
10/26/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-83, The Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2010
10/22/2009
10/28/2009
(10/9/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-84, The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010
10/26/2009
10/28/2009
(10/21/2009)*
No
P.L. 111-85, The Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010
10/21/2009
10/28/2009
(10/21/2009)*
No
P.L. 111-86, The Girl Scouts USA Centennial Commemorative Coin Act
10/22/2009
10/29/2009
(10/21/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-87, The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009
10/26/2009
10/30/2009
(10/21/2009)*
No
P.L. 111-88, The Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010
10/30/2009
10/30/2009
(10/28/2009)*
No
P.L. 111-89, A bill to provide for additional temporary extension of programs under the Small Business Act and the Small Business Investment Act of 1958, and for other purposes
10/30/2009
10/30/2009
(10/29/2009)
No
P.L. 111-90, The Morris K. Udall Scholarship and Excellence in National Environmental Policy Amendments Act of 2009
10/22/2009
11/3/2009
(10/22/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-91, The Medal of Honor Commemorative Coin Act of 2009
10/29/2009
11/6/2009
(10/29/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-92, The Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2009
11/5/2009
11/6/2009
(11/5/2009)
No
P.L. 111-93, The Credit CARD Technical Corrections Act of 2009
10/30/2009
11/6/2009
(10/30/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-94, Proclaiming Casimir Pulaski to be an honorary citizen of the United States posthumously
10/29/2009
11/6/2009
(10/29/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-95, A bill to amend title 36, United States Code, to grant a Federal charter to the Military Officers Association of America, and for other purposes
10/30/2009
11/6/2009
(10/30/2009)*
No ‡
P.L. 111-96, A bill to allow the funding for the interoperable emergency communications grant program established under the Digital Television Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005 to remain available until expended through fiscal year 2012, and for other purposes
10/30/2009
11/6/2009
(10/30/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-97, The Military Spouses Residency Relief Act
11/4/2009
11/11/2009
(11/4/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-98, A bill to authorize a major medical facility project at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Walla, Walla, Washington, and for other purposes
11/4/2009
11/11/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-99, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 10355 Northeast Valley Road in Rollingbay, Washington, as the “John ‘Bud’ Hawk Post Office”
11/20/2009
11/30/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-100, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 37926 Church Street in Dade City, Florida, as the “Sergeant Marcus Mathes Post Office”
11/20/2009
11/30/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-101, To name the South Central Agricultural Research Laboratory of the Department of Agriculture in Lane, Oklahoma, and the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 310 North Perry Street in Bennington, Oklahoma, in honor of former Congressman Wesley “Wes” Watkins
11/20/2009
11/30/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-102, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 4282 Beach Street in Akron, Michigan, as the “Akron Veterans Memorial Post Office”
11/20/2009
11/30/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-103, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 140 Merriman Road in Garden City, Michigan, as the “John J. Shivnen Post Office Building”
11/20/2009
11/30/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-104, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 1615 North Wilcox Avenue in Los Angeles, California, as the “Johnny Grant Hollywood Post Office Building”
11/20/2009
11/30/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-105, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 115 West Edward Street in Erath, Louisiana, as the “Conrad DeRouen, Jr. Post Office”
11/20/2009
11/30/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-106, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 867 Stockton Street in San Francisco, California, as the “Lim Poon Lee Post Office”
11/20/2009
11/30/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-107, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 1165 2nd Avenue in Des Moines, Iowa, as the “Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Memorial Post Office”
11/20/2009
11/30/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-108, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 936 South 250 East in Provo, Utah, as the “Rex E. Lee Post Office Building”
11/20/2009
11/30/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-109, A bill to redesignate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 2777 Logan Avenue in San Diego, California, as the “Cesar E. Chavez Post Office”
11/19/2009
11/30/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-110, A bill to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 60 School Street, Orchard Park, New York, as the “Jack F. Kemp Post Office Building”
11/19/2009
11/30/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-111, A bill to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 630 Northeast Killingsworth Avenue in Portland, Oregon, as the “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Post Office”
11/19/2009
11/30/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-112, A bill to extend the authority for relocation expenses test programs for Federal employees, and for other purposes
11/19/2009
11/30/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-113, A bill to amend title 36, United States Code, to include in the Federal charter of the Reserve Officers Association leadership positions newly added in its constitution and bylaws
12/2/2009
12/14/2009
(12/2/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-114, A bill to permit each current member of the Board of Directors of the Office of Compliance to serve for 3 terms
12/2/2009
12/14/2009
(12/2/2009)
No ‡
P.L. 111-115, To amend titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act to prohibit retroactive payments to individuals during periods for which such individuals are prisoners, fugitive felons, or probation or parole violators
12/14/2009
12/15/2009
No
No
P.L. 111-116, To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend the funding and expenditure authority of the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, to amend title 49, United States Code, to extend authorizations for the airport improvement program, and for other purposes
12/14/2009
12/16/2009
(12/14/2009)
No
P.L. 111-117, The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010
12/15/2009
12/16/2009
(12/15/2009)
No
P.L. 111-118, Making appropriations for the Department of Defense for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, and for other purposes
12/19/2009
12/19/2009
(12/19/2009)
No
P.L. 111-119, A bill to amend the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 to clarify the eligibility requirements with respect to airline flight crews
12/9/2009
12/21/2009
(12/11/2009)
Yes
P.L. 111-120, To extend through December 31, 2010, the authority of the Secretary of the Army to accept and expend funds contributed by non-Federal public entities to expedite the processing of permits
12/14/2009
12/22/2009
(12/14/2009)
Yes
P.L. 111-121, Appointing the day for the convening of the second session of the One Hundred Eleventh Congress
12/16/2009
12/22/2009
(12/16/2009)
Yes
P.L. 111-122, A bill to establish a section within the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice to enforce human rights laws, to make technical and conforming amendments to criminal and immigration laws pertaining to human rights violations, and for other purposes
12/17/2009
12/22/2009
(12/17/2009)
Yes
P.L. 111-123, To permit continued financing of Government operations
12/24/2009
12/28/2009
(12/25/2009)
No
P.L. 111-124, To extend the Generalized System of Preferences and the Andean Trade Preference Act, and for other purposes
12/23/2009
12/28/2009
(12/23/2009)
Yes
P.L. 111-125, To extend the commercial space transportation liability regime
12/24/2009
12/28/2009
(12/25/2009)
No
P.L. 111-126, To accelerate the income tax benefits for charitable cash contributions for the relief of victims of the earthquake in Haiti
01/22/2010
01/22/2010
(01/22/2010)
No
P.L. 111-127, The Emergency Aid to American Survivors of the Haiti Earthquake Act
01/27/2010
01/27/2010
n/a E!
n/a E!
P.L. 111-128, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 116 North West Street in Somerville, Tennessee, as the “John S. Wilder Post Office Building”
01/20/2010
01/29/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-129, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 76 Brookside Avenue in Chester, New York, as the “1st Lieutenant Louis Allen Post Office”
01/20/2010
01/29/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-130, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 9810 Halls Ferry Road in St. Louis, Missouri, as the “Coach Jodie Bailey Post Office Building”
01/20/2010
01/29/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-131, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 440 South Gulling Street in Portola, California, as the “Army Specialist Jeremiah Paul McCleery Post Office Building”
01/20/2010
01/29/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-132, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 427 Harrison Avenue in Harrison, New Jersey, as the “Patricia D. McGinty-Juhl Post Office Building”
01/20/2010
01/29/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-133, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 16555 Springs Street in White Springs, Florida, as the “Clyde L. Hillhouse Post Office Building”
01/20/2010
01/29/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-134, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 170 North Main Street in Smithfield, Utah, as the “W. Hazen Hillyard Post Office Building”
01/20/2010
01/29/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-135, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 3900 Darrow Road in Stow, Ohio, as the “Corporal Joseph A. Tomci Post Office Building”
01/20/2010
01/29/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-136, To provide for an additional temporary extension of programs under the Small Business Act and the Small Business Investment Act of 1958, and for other purposes
01/29/2010
01/29/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-137, To amend title 38, United States Code, to expand veteran eligibility for reimbursement by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for emergency treatment furnished in a non-Department facility, and for other purposes
01/20/2010
02/01/2010
(01/20/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-138, A bill to provide that claims of the United States to certain documents relating to Franklin Delano Roosevelt shall be treated as waived and relinquished in certain circumstances
01/22/2010
02/01/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-139, Increasing the statutory limit on the public debt
02/04/2010
02/12/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-140, The Nuclear Forensics and Attribution Act
02/04/2010
02/16/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-141, An Act to extend expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005 and Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 until February 28, 2011
02/26/2010
02/27/2010
(02/26/2010)
No
P.L. 111-142, The Social Security Disability Applicants’ Access to Professional Representation Act of 2010
02/25/2010
02/27/2010
(02/25/2010)
No
P.L. 111-143, The Criminal History Background Checks Pilot Extension Act of 2009
02/17/2010
03/01/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-144, The Temporary Extension Act of 2010
03/02/2010
03/02/2010
(03/03/2010)
No
P.L. 111-145, The Capitol Police Administrative Technical Corrections Act of 2009
03/04/2010
03/04/2010
(02/26/2010)*
No
P.L. 111-146, The Trademark Technical and Conforming Amendment Act of 2010
03/17/2010
03/17/2010
(03/05/2010)
Yes †
P.L. 111-147, The Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act
03/17/2010
03/18/2010
(03/18/2010)*
No
P.L. 111-148, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
03/22/2010
03/23/2010
(03/14/2010)*
No
P.L. 111-149, To amend the North American Wetlands Conservation Act to establish requirements regarding payment of the non-Federal share of the costs of wetlands conservation projects in Canada that are funded under that Act, and for other purposes
03/15/2010
03/25/2010
(03/15/2010)*
Yes
P.L. 111-150, P.L. 111-150, To permit the use of previously appropriated funds to extend the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program, and for other purposes
03/26/2010
03/26/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-151, The Satellite Television Extension Act of 2010
03/26/2010
03/26/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-152, The Reconciliation Act of 2010
03/30/2010
03/30/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-153, The Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010
03/26/2010
03/31/2010
(03/26/2010)*
Yes
P.L. 111-154, The PACT Act
03/19/2010
03/31/2010
(03/18/2010)*
Yes
P.L. 111-155, The Prevent Deceptive Census Look Alike Mailings Act
04/01/2010
04/07/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-156, Recognizing and honoring the Blinded Veterans Association on its 65th anniversary of representing blinded veterans and their families
04/01/2010
04/07/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-157, The Continuing Extension Act of 2010
04/15/2010
04/15/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-158, The Debt Relief for Earthquake Recovery in Haiti Act of 2010
04/15/2010
04/26/2010
(04/15/2010)*
Yes
P.L. 111-159, To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to ensure that health coverage provided by the Department of Defense is treated as minimal essential coverage
04/14/2010
04/26/2010
(04/14/2010)*
Yes
P.L. 111-160, A joint resolution granting the consent and approval of Congress to amendments made by the State of Maryland, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the District of Columbia to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Regulation Compact
04/16/2010
04/26/2010
(04/16/2010)*
Yes
P.L. 111-161, The Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2010
04/29/2010
04/30/2010
(04/29/2010)*
No
P.L. 111-162, A bill to provide for an additional temporary extension of programs under the Small Business Act and the Small Business Investment Act of 1958, and for other purposes
04/29/2010
04/30/2010
(04/29/2010)*
No
P.L. 111-163, The Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2009
04/27/2010
05/05/2010
(04/23/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-164, To designate the Department of Veterans Affairs blind rehabilitation center in Long Beach, California, as the “Major Charles R. Soltes, Jr., O.D. Department of Veterans Affairs Blind Rehabilitation Center”
04/26/2010
05/07/2010
(04/26/2010)*
Yes
P.L. 111-165, To provide that Members of Congress shall not receive a cost of living adjustment in pay during fiscal year 2011
05/03/2010
05/14/2010
(05/03/2010)*
Yes
P.L. 111-166, The Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act of 2009
05/06/2010
05/17/2010
(05/06/2010)*
Yes
P.L. 111-167, The Blue Ridge Parkway and Town of Blowing Rock Land Exchange Act of 2009
05/13/2010
05/24/2010
(05/13/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-168, To provide for the sale of the Federal Government’s reversionary interest in approximately 60 acres of land in Salt Lake City, Utah, originally conveyed to the Mount Olivet Cemetery Association under the Act of January 23, 1909
05/13/2010
05/24/2010
(05/13/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-169, To provide for an extension of the legislative authority of the Adams Memorial Foundation to establish a commemorative work in honor of former President John Adams and his legacy, and for other purposes
05/13/2010
05/24/2010
(05/13/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-170, To amend title 39, United States Code, to clarify the instances in which the term “census” may appear on mailable matter
05/13/2010
05/24/2010
(05/13/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-171, The Haiti Economic Lift Program Act of 2010
05/13/2010
05/24/2010
(05/13/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-172, The Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009
05/17/2010
05/24/2010
(05/18/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-173, To clarify the health care provided by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs that constitutes minimum essential coverage
05/21/2010
05/27/2010
(05/21/2010)*
Yes
P.L. 111-174, The Federal Judiciary Administrative Improvements Act of 2009
05/21/2010
05/27/2010
(05/21/2010)*
Yes
P.L. 111-175, The Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act of 2010
05/17/2010
05/27/2010
(05/18/2010)*
Yes
P.L. 111-176, To designate the Department of the Interior Building in Washington, District of Columbia, as the “Stewart Lee Udall Department of the Interior Building”
05/28/2010
06/08/2010
(06/01/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-177, The Extending Immunities to the Office of the High Representative and the International Civilian Office in Kosovo Act of 2010
05/27/2010
06/08/2010
(05/27/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-178, The FBI Families of Fallen Heroes Act
06/01/2010
06/09/2010
(06/01/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-179, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 1210 West Main Street in Riverhead, New York, as the “Private First Class Garfield M. Langhorn Post Office Building”
06/01/2010
06/09/2010
(06/01/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-180, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 109 Main Street in Swifton, Arkansas, as the “George Kell Post Office”
06/01/2010
06/09/2010
(06/01/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-181, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 101 West Highway 64 Bypass in Roper, North Carolina, as the “E.V. Wilkins Post Office”
06/01/2010
06/09/2010
(06/01/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-182, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 43 Maple Avenue in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, as the “Ann Marie Blute Post Office”
06/01/2010
06/09/2010
(06/01/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-183, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 9727 Antioch Road in Overland Park, Kansas, as the “Congresswoman Jan Meyers Post Office Building”
06/01/2010
06/09/2010
(06/01/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-184, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 7464 Highway 503 in Hickory, Mississippi, as the “Sergeant Matthew L. Ingram Post Office”
06/01/2010
06/09/2010
(06/01/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-185, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 45300 Portola Avenue in Palm Desert, California, as the “Roy Wilson Post Office”
06/01/2010
06/09/2010
(06/01/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-186, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 930 39th Avenue in Greeley, Colorado, as the “W.D. Farr Post Office Building”
06/01/2010
06/09/2010
(06/01/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-187, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 2-116th Street in North Troy, New York, as the “Martin G. ‘Marty’ Mahar Post Office”
06/01/2010
06/09/2010
(06/01/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-188, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 119 Station Road in Cheyney, Pennsylvania, as the “Captain Luther H. Smith, U.S. Army Air Forces Post Office”
06/01/2010
06/09/2010
(06/01/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-189, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 216 Westwood Avenue in Westwood, New Jersey, as the “Sergeant Christopher R. Hrbek Post Office Building”
06/01/2010
06/09/2010
(06/01/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-190, To amend the Antitrust Criminal Penalty Enhancement and Reform Act of 2004 to extend the operation of such Act for a 5-year period ending June 22, 2015, and for other purposes
06/01/2010
06/09/2010
(06/01/2010)
Yes
P.L. 111-191, A bill to amend the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to authorize advances from Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
06/14/2010
06/15/2010
(06/10/2010)
No
P.L. 111-192, The Preservation of Access to Care for Medicare Beneficiaries and Pension Relief Act
06/24/2010
06/25/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-193, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 2000 Louisiana Avenue in New Orleans, Louisiana, as the “Roy Rondeno, Sr. Post Office Building”
06/17/2010
06/28/2010
[06/17/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-194, A joint resolution to provide for the reconsideration and revision of the proposed constitution of the United States Virgin Islands to correct provisions inconsistent with the Constitution and Federal law
06/30/2010
06/30/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-195, Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010
06/28/2010
07/01/2010
[06/24/2010]
No
P.L. 111-196, National Flood Insurance Program Extension Act of 2010
07/01/2010
07/02/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-197, Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2010, Part II
07/01/2010
07/02/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-198, Homebuyer Assistance and Improvement Act of 2010
07/01/2010
07/02/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-199, Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act
06/25/2010
07/07/2010
[06/25/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-200, Congressional Award Program Reauthorization Act of 2009
06/25/2010
07/07/2010
[06/25/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-201, Recognizing the 60th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War and reaffirming the United States-Korea alliance
06/25/2010
07/07/2010
[06/25/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-202, To permanently authorize Radio Free Asia, and for other purposes
07/01/2010
07/13/2010
[07/01/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-203, Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act
07/15/2010
07/21/2010
[06/30/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-204, Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act of 2010
07/20/2010
07/22/2010
[07/15/2010]
Yes †
P.L. 111-205, Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2010
07/22/2010
07/22/2010
[07/15/2010]
No
P.L. 111-206, Shasta-Trinity National Forest Administrative Jurisdiction Transfer Act
07/19/2010
07/27/2010
[07/19/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-207, Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010
07/19/2010
07/27/2010
[07/16/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-208, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 1981 Cleveland Avenue in Columbus, Ohio, as the `Clarence D. Lumpkin Post Office’
07/19/2010
07/27/2010
[07/19/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-209, To amend the effective date of the gift card provisions of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009
07/15/2010
07/27/2010
[07/16/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-210, Approving the renewal of import restrictions contained in the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003
07/27/2010
07/27/2010
[07/27/2010]
No
P.L. 111-211, To protect Indian arts and crafts through the improvement of applicable criminal proceedings, and for other purposes
07/27/2010
07/29/2010
[07/23/2010]
Yes †
P.L. 111-212, Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2010
07/29/2010
07/29/2010
(03/24/2010)
No
P.L. 111-213, Independent Living Centers Technical Adjustment Act
07/29/2010
07/29/2010
[07/29/2010]
No
P.L. 111-214, To provide for an additional temporary extension of programs under the Small Business Act and the Small Business Investment Act of 1958, and for other purposes
07/28/2010
07/30/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-215, A bill to modify the date on which the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and applicable States may require permits for discharges from certain vessels
07/30/2010
07/30/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-216, The Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010
07/30/2010
08/1/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-217, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 1343 West Irving Park Road in Chicago, Illinois, as the “Steve Goodman Post Office Building”
07/22/2010
08/03/2010
[07/22/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-218, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 23 Genesee Street in Hornell, New York, as the “Zachary Smith Post Office Building”
07/22/2010
08/03/2010
[07/22/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-219, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 15 South Main Street in Sharon, Massachusetts, as the “Michael C. Rothberg Post Office”
07/22/2010
08/03/2010
[07/22/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-220, The Fair Sentencing Act of 2009
07/29/2010
08/03/2010
[07/29/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-221, The National September 11 Memorial & Museum Commemorative Medal Act of 2009
07/27/2010
08/06/2010
[07/27/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-222, A bill to amend the National Law Enforcement Museum Act to extend the termination date
07/27/2010
08/06/2010
[07/27/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-223, To amend title 28, United States Code, to prohibit recognition and enforcement of foreign defamation judgments and certain foreign judgments against the providers of interactive computer services
07/29/2010
08/10/2010
[07/29/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-224, The United States Patent and Trademark Office Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2010
07/30/2010
08/10/2010
[08/02/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-225, The Cell Phone Contraband Act of 2009
07/29/2010
08/10/2010
[07/29/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-226, The XXXXXX Act of XXXX
08/10/2010
08/10/2010
[08/05/2010]
No
P.L. 111-227, The Miscellaneous Trade and Technical Corrections Act of 2009
07/30/2010
08/11/2010
[08/02/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-228, The General and Special Risk Insurance Funds Availability Act of 2010
08/10/2010
08/11/2010
[08/05/2010]
No
P.L. 111-229, To increase the flexibility of the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development with respect to the amount of premiums charged for FHA single family housing mortgage insurance, and for other purposes
08/10/2010
08/11/2010
[08/05/2010]
No
P.L. 111-230, Making emergency supplemental appropriations for border security for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, and for other purposes
08/12/2010
08/13/2010
[08/11/2010]
No
P.L. 111-231, To authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to terminate certain easements held by the Secretary on land owned by the Village of Caseyville, Illinois, and to terminate associated contractual arrangements with the Village
08/10/2010
08/16/2010
[08/10/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-232, The Star-Spangled Banner Commemorative Coin Act
08/10/2010
08/16/2010
[08/10/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-233, The Agricultural Credit Act of 2009
08/10/2010
08/16/2010
[08/10/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-234, To designate the annex building under construction for the Elbert P. Tuttle United States Court of Appeals Building in Atlanta, Georgia, as the “John C. Godbold United States Judicial Administration Building”
08/10/2010
08/16/2010
[08/10/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-235, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 405 West Second Street in Dixon, Illinois, as the “President Ronald W. Reagan Post Office Building”
08/10/2010
08/16/2010
[08/10/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-236, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 151 North Maitland Avenue in Maitland, Florida, as the “Paula Hawkins Post Office Building”
08/10/2010
08/16/2010
[08/10/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-237, The Firearms Excise Tax Improvement Act of 2010
08/10/2010
08/16/2010
[08/10/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-238, To amend the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 to extend the authority of the Secretary of the Navy to enter into multiyear contracts for F/A-18E, F/A-18F, and EA-18G aircraft
09/23/2010
09/27/2010
[09/22/2010]
No
P.L. 111-239, The Mandatory Price Reporting Act of 2010
09/21/2010
09/27/2010
[09/21/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-240, The Small Business Lending Fund Act of 2010
09/23/2010
09/27/2010
[09/16/2010]
No
P.L. 111-241, The Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp Act of 2009
09/23/2010
09/30/2010
[09/23/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-242, The Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011
09/30/2010
09/30/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-243, To designate the Federal building under construction at 1220 Echelon Parkway in Jackson, Mississippi, as the “Chaney, Goodman, Schwerner Federal Building”
09/23/2010
09/30/2010
[09/24/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-244, To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to extend grants and other assistance to facilitate a political status public education program for the people of Guam
09/30/2010
09/30/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-245, The First Responder Anti-Terrorism Training Resources Ac
09/22/2010
09/30/2010
[09/22/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-246, To enable State homes to furnish nursing home care to parents any of whose children died while serving in the Armed Forces
09/23/2010
09/30/2010
[09/24/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-247, The Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2010
09/23/2010
09/30/2010
[09/24/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-248, To improve the operation of certain facilities and programs of the House of Representatives, and for other purposes
09/23/2010
09/30/2010
[09/24/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-249, The Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2010, Part III
09/28/2010
09/30/2010
[09/28/2010]
No
P.L. 111-250, The National Flood Insurance Program Reextension Act of 2010
09/24/2010
09/30/2010
[09/24/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-251, A bill to provide for an additional temporary extension of programs under the Small Business Act and the Small Business Investment Act of 1958, and for other purposes
09/29/2010
09/30/2010
[09/28/2010]
No
P.L. 111-252, To allow certain U.S. Customs and Border Protection employees who serve under an overseas limited appointment for at least 2 years, and whose service is rated fully successful or higher throughout that time, to be converted to a permanent appointment in the competitive service
09/28/2010
10/05/2010
[09/28/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-253, A bill to award a congressional gold medal to Dr. Muhammad Yunus, in recognition of his contributions to the fight against global poverty
09/28/2010
10/05/2010
[09/28/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-254, A bill to grant the congressional gold medal, collectively, to the 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, United States Army, in recognition of their dedicated service during World War II
09/28/2010
10/05/2010
[09/28/2010]
No
P.L. 111-255, The Improving Access to Clinical Trials Act of 2009
09/24/2010
10/05/2010
[09/24/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-256, Rosa’s Law
09/23/2010
10/05/2010
[09/23/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-257, A bill to amend the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Investment Company Act of 1940, and the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 to provide for certain disclosures under section 552 of title 5, United States Code, (commonly referred to as the Freedom of Information Act), and for other purposes
09/24/2010
10/05/2010
[09/24/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-258, The Reducing Over-Classification Act of 2009
09/30/2010
10/07/2010
[09/30/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-259, The Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010
10/01/2010
10/07/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-260, The Equal Access to 21st Century Communications Act
09/30/2010
10/08/2010
[09/30/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-261, To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to lease certain lands in Virgin Islands National Park, and for other purposes
09/30/2010
10/08/2010
No
No
P.L. 111-262, The 5-Star Generals Commemorative Coin Act
09/30/2010
10/08/2010
[09/30/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-263, The Federal Supply Schedules Usage Act of 2009
09/29/2010
10/08/2010
[09/29/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-264, The Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Reauthorization Act of 2010
10/04/2010
10/08/2010
[10/04/2010]
No
P.L. 111-265, A bill to make technical corrections in the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 and the amendments made by that Act
09/30/2010
10/08/2010
[09/30/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-266, The Security Cooperation Act of 2010
09/29/2010
10/08/2010
[09/29/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-267, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2010
09/30/2010
10/11/2010
[09/30/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-268, The Combat Methamphetamine Enhancement Act of 2009
09/30/2010
10/12/2010
[09/30/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-269, The Indian Veterans Housing Opportunity Act of 2009
09/30/2010
10/12/2010
[09/30/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-270, To provide for an extension of the legislative authority of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Inc. to establish a Vietnam Veterans Memorial visitor center, and for other purposes
09/30/2010
10/12/2010
[09/30/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-271, The Redundancy Elimination and Enhanced Performance for Preparedness Grants Act
09/30/2010
10/12/2010
[10/06/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-272, The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act Improvements Act of 2009
09/30/2010
10/12/2010
[09/30/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-273, The Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010
09/30/2010
10/12/2010
[09/30/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-274, The Plain Language Act of 2009
10/01/2010
10/13/2010
[09/30/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-275, The Veterans’ Insurance and Health Care Improvements Act of 2009
10/01/2010
10/13/2010
[09/30/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-276, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 4285 Payne Avenue in San Jose, California, as the “Anthony J. Cortese Post Office Building”
10/01/2010
10/13/2010
[09/30/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-277, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 100 Orndorf Drive in Brighton, Michigan, as the “Joyce Rogers Post Office Building”
10/01/2010
10/13/2010
[09/30/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-278, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 13301 Smith Road in Cleveland, Ohio, as the “David John Donafee Post Office Building”
10/01/2010
10/13/2010
[09/30/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-279, To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 3894 Crenshaw Boulevard in Los Angeles, California, as the “Tom Bradley Post Office Building”
10/01/2010
10/13/2010
[09/30/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-280, The WIPA and PABSS Extension Act of 2010
10/01/2010
10/13/2010
[09/30/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-281, The Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010
10/04/2010
10/15/2010
[10/04/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-282, The United States Secret Service Uniformed Division Modernization Act of 2009
10/04/2010
10/15/2010
[10/04/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-283, The Pre-Election Presidential Transition Act of 2010
10/04/2010
10/15/2010
[10/04/2010]
Yes
P.L. 111-284, The Mount Stevens and Ted Stevens Icefield Designation Act
10/12/2010
10/18/2010
[10/12/2010]
Yes

(Parentheses indicate a separate Whitehouse.gov page with a link to Thomas legislative database)
* Page now gone, but it was either directly observed, evidence of it appears in Whitehouse.gov search, or White House says it existed.
[Brackets indicate a link from Whitehouse.gov to Thomas legislative database]

† Bill was posted for five days after final passage, though not formal presentment. Counted as “Yes.”

‡ Link to final version of bill on impossible-to-find page.

E! Emergency legislation not subject to five-day posting. Counted as “Yes” in simplifying graphs and tables.

Data Formats —> Public Oversight

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) has a terrific op-ed piece on Internet-age government transparency in the Washington Examiner today:

If agencies used consistent data formats for their financial information, their financial reports could be electronically reconciled. It would be possible to trace funds from Congressional appropriations through agencies’ budgets to final use. The same data could flow automatically into USASpending.gov, without the errors and inconsistencies that make it unreliable today.

The idea is simple, if not easy to implement. Put government data in uniform formats, accessible to the public, and let public oversight work its will. Whether you prioritize good government, small government, or both, expect improvement.

What Gets You Most Upset about the TARP Bailout, the Lying, the Corruption, or the Economic Damage?

As an economist, I should probably be most agitated about the economic consequences of TARP, such as moral hazard and capital malinvestment. But when I read stories about how political insiders (both in government and on Wall Street) manipulate the system for personal advantage, I get even more upset.

Yes, TARP was economically misguided. But the bailout also was fundamentally corrupt, featuring special favors for the well-heeled. I don’t like it when lower-income people use the political system to take money from upper-income people, but it is downright nauseating and disgusting when upper-income people use the coercive power of government to steal money from lower-income people.

Now, to add insult to injury, we’re being fed an unsavory gruel of deception as the political class tries to cover its tracks. Here’s a story from Bloomberg about the Treasury Department’s refusal to obey the law and comply with a FOIA request. A Bloomberg reporter wanted to know about an insider deal to put taxpayers on the line to guarantee a bunch of Citigroup-held securities, but the government thinks that people don’t have a right to know how their money is being funneled to politically-powerful and well-connected insiders.

The late Bloomberg News reporter Mark Pittman asked the U.S. Treasury in January 2009 to identify $301 billion of securities owned by Citigroup Inc. that the government had agreed to guarantee. He made the request on the grounds that taxpayers ought to know how their money was being used. More than 20 months later, after saying at least five times that a response was imminent, Treasury officials responded with 560 pages of printed-out e-mails – none of which Pittman requested. They were so heavily redacted that most of what’s left are everyday messages such as “Did you just try to call me?” and “Monday will be a busy day!” None of the documents answers Pittman’s request for “records sufficient to show the names of the relevant securities” or the dates and terms of the guarantees.

Here’s another reprehensible example. The Treasury Department, for all intents and purposes, prevaricated when it recently claimed that the AIG bailout would cost “only” $5 billion. This has triggered some pushback from Capitol Hill GOPers, as reported by the New York Times, but it is highly unlikely that anyone will suffer any consequences for this deception. To paraphrase Glenn Reynolds, “laws, honesty, and integrity, like taxes, are for the little people.”

The United States Treasury concealed $40 billion in likely taxpayer losses on the bailout of the American International Group earlier this month, when it abandoned its usual method for valuing investments, according to a report by the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program. …“The American people have a right for full and complete disclosure about their investment in A.I.G.,” Mr. Barofsky said, “and the U.S. government has an obligation, when they’re describing potential losses, to give complete information.” …“If a private company filed information with the government that was just as misleading and disingenuous as what Treasury has done here, you’d better believe there would be calls for an investigation from the S.E.C. and others,” said Representative Darrell Issa, the senior Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. He called the Treasury’s October report on A.I.G. “blatant manipulation.” Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the senior Republican on the Finance Committee, said he thought “administration officials are trying so hard to put a positive spin on program losses that they played fast and loose with the numbers.” He said it reminded him of “misleading” claims that General Motors had paid back its rescue loans with interest ahead of schedule.

P.S. Allow me to preempt some emails from people who will argue that TARP was a necessary evil. Even for those who think the financial system had to be recapitalized, there was no need to bail out specific companies. The government could have taken the approach used during the S&L bailout about 20 years ago, which was to shut down the insolvent institutions. Depositors were bailed out, often by using taxpayer money to bribe a solvent institution to take over the failed savings & loan, but management and shareholders were wiped out, thus  preventing at least one form of moral hazard.

Private Ownership of Public Law

Carl Malamud is a breakthrough thinker and doer on transparency and open government. In the brief video below, he makes the very interesting case that various regulatory codes are wrongly withheld from the public domain while citizens are expected to comply with them. It’s important, mind-opening stuff.

It seems a plain violation of due process that a person might be presumed to know laws that are not publicly available. I’m not aware of any cases finding that inability to access the law for want of money is a constitutional problem, but the situation analogizes fairly well to Harper v. Virginia, in which a poll tax that would exclude the indigent from voting was found to violate equal protection.

Regulatory codes that must be purchased at a high price will tend to cartelize trades by raising a barrier to entry against those who can’t pay for copies of the law. Private ownership of public law seems plainly inconsistent with due process, equal protection, and the rule of law. You’ll sense in the video that Malamud is no libertarian, but an enemy of an enemy of ordered liberty is a friend of liberty.


Bingaman Gets Paid to Flout Disclosure Rules

Judging by his earmark disclosures, Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) seems to have said “To hell with you!” to the Senate Appropriations Committee and its earmarking rules. But the committee is doling out money to him anyway. It seems rules were made to be broken.

In March, the committee issued a press release reiterating its rules about earmarks—funding requests for special projects that go into Congress’ annual spending bills. Among other things, the rules say:

The Appropriations Committee will consider no request for spending on congressionally directed items … unless a description of the items proposed—including their purpose, location, the recipient of the funds, and an explanation of why the spending is in the interest of the taxpayers—is made publicly available on the Senator’s office website…

bingaman earmark disclosureTake a look at Senator Bingaman’s earmark requests [ugly PDF image] for the Energy & Water appropriations bill. It’s a day-late, dollar-short disaster! (Bingaman’s disclosures for other approps bills are collected here.)

Take one funding request, identified only as “Central NM 593.”

The location of the project is “Bernalillo, Valencia, and SandovaNM1 [sic] Counties.”

Its purpose and benefit to taxpayers? Just two words: “Water Supply.”

Nowhere does Senator Bingaman say who will receive the money. It’s something taxpayers might like to know, and the Senate Appropriations Committee requires its disclosure.

Based on that justification, Senator Bingaman got a million dollar payout. A million dollars for a two-word justification!

(There’s another that asks for funding in the amount of ‘8.00%’. What does that even mean?! Luckily it wasn’t funded…)

Senator Bingaman’s disclosure for the Energy & Water approps bill is just three pages long. Three pages cover 65 earmark requests, adding up to over half a billion dollars (and eight percent of something). Can a half-billion dollars in spending be justified in under three pages?

This should have received a “Stop—Do Not Pass Go—Do Not Collect $200” from the Senate Appropriations Committee. He obviously flouted their rules, denying the public visibility into his earmark requests as the committee required.

But Senator Bingaman got 14 earmarks in the Energy & Water bill, worth over $16 million. That’s $16 million for three uninformative pages.

This is transparency done wrong.

S. 3335 is a bill to require Congress to produce a database of earmark requests and earmarks. It has been reported to the full Senate by committee.