The Senate just passed a voice vote rule which would require all Senators to post their budgets online for voters to see. The AP report adds, however, that some have speculated that this move is due more to avoid scandals like those which have beset the British parliament than a real desire for transparency:
The more open disclosures would follow a major scandal involving the British Parliament and revelations of questionable or outright ridiculous expenses, such as $3,000 to replace a leaky pipe under a Conservative member’s tennis court. Parliament’s records had previously been secret.
Would-be watchdogs should probably tamper their expectations of what they’ll find in the congressional reports. For starters, living expenses aren’t covered as they are in Great Britain. Instead, they’ll find salaries of lawmakers’ staff aides, travel costs and itineraries, office supplies, rents for homestate offices and other mundane costs.
However, as with any disclosures like this, it is possible that this will promote a sort of culture of transparency. Read more here.Published in