Here is Thursdays look at transparency-related news items, todays congressional committee hearings, transparency-related bills introduced in Congress yesterday, and transparency-related events being held today.

News roundup:

  • DISCLOSE Act news:
    • Under pressure from advocacy groups, House Democrats are split as to whether to try and pass the DISCLOSE Act by Memorial Day or slow down and continue to amend the bill. (Roll Call)($)
    • Campaign Legal Center Policy Director Meredith McGehee editorializes in favor of the DISCLOSE Act and urges Republicans to get behind the bill. (Roll Call)($)
  • When the House drafts new earmark rules next year, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) wants to ease the GOP’s self-imposed earmark restrictions but also make them more transparent. (The Hill)
  • The Campaign Media Analysis Group reports that outside political organizations have spent three times more on political ads this year than at the same point in 2006. (The Wall Street Journal)($) (OMB Watch)
  • A Food and Drug Administration task force has identified 21 ways that the agency can better release its data to the public. (Federal News Radio)
  • Disclosure records show that only one lobbying firm, K&L Gates, actually operates on the infamous K Street. (The Washington Post)

Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 5/20:

Senate:

  • To hold hearings to examine efforts to right-size the Federal employee-to-contractor mix, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs: Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia Thursday, May 20, 2:30 p.m., Dirksen-342

House:

  • Markup of H.R. 5175, The DISCLOSE ACT, Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections, Committee on House Administration, Thursday, May 20, 1 p.m., Longworth-1310
  • Hearing on the Administrative Conference of the United States, House Judiciary Committee: Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law, Thursday, May 20, 2 p.m., Rayburn-2141

Relevant bills introduced 5/19:

Senate:

  • A bill to direct the General Accountability Office to conduct a full audit of hurricane protection funding and cost estimates associated with post-Katrina hurricane protection; to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. S. 3384

House:

  • None

Transparency events scheduled for 5/20:

  • Strengthening Federal Spending Transparency: A Working Conference to Develop a Plan of Action, Thursday, May 20, 9:00 a.m. 5:30 p.m., Economic Policy Institute, 1333 H St NW, 3rd Floor, Washington, D.C.

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