Here is Monday’s look at the week’s transparency-related news items, congressional committee hearings, transparency-related bills introduced in Congress, and transparency-related events.
- Securities and Exchange Commission officials defended the agency’s request for budget increases, saying the extra money is necessary for updating the corporate disclosure requirements, which have not been changed for almost three decades. Center for Public Integrity
- Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) is investigating agency business and accounting practices. Washington Post
- The Ferguson Group claims that the earmark ban is unfair to smaller municipalities, as it is harder for them to get competitive federal grants and need to find funding elsewhere. Roll Call $
- The Project on Government Oversight has raised concerns that the Securities and Exchange Commission ignores instances of employee misconduct. Politico
- Hartford City Council debates banning campaign contributions from contractors involved in business deals with the city. Lobby Comply Blog
- Heritage Action for America announced that it will begin keeping a legislative scorecard where it will evaluate legislators on key votes. Roll Call $
- The Justice Department is increasing prosecution of those who leak classified information, causing critics to worry that whistle-blowers will be too intimidated to perform their watchdog role. USA Today
- Former Rep. Ike Skelton (D-MO) is moving to the Kansas City law and lobbying firm Husch Blackwell. Roll Call $
Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 3/14-3/18:
- Judiciary. Hearings to examine the Freedom of Information Act, focusing on ensuring transparency and accountability in the digital age. Tues. 3/15. 10:15am. Dirksen Building 226.
Relevant bills introduced since the last Day in Transparency on Friday 3/4:
- S. 492. A bill to amend the Communications Act of 1934 to prohibit Federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting after fiscal year 2013; to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
- S. 496. A bill to amend the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act to repeal a duplicative program relating to inspection and grading of catfish; to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.
- S. 498. A bill to ensure objective, independent review of task and delivery orders; to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
- S. 549. A bill to require the Attorney General of the United States to compile, and make publically available, certain data relating to the Equal Access to Justice Act, and for other purposes; to the Committee on the Judiciary.
- H.R. 937. A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to reduce the corporate rate of tax and to change to a more territorial method of taxing corporations; to the Committee on Ways and Means.
- H.R. 940. A bill to establish standards for covered bond programs and a covered bond regulatory oversight program, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Financial Services, and in addition to the Committee on Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.
- H.R. 958. A bill to limit the jurisdiction of the Federal courts, and for other purposes; to the Committee on the Judiciary.
- H.R. 979. A bill to amend chapter 89 of title 5, United States Code, to ensure program integrity, transparency, and cost savings in the pricing and contracting of prescription drug benefits under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program; to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
- H.R. 994. A bill to require Congress to lead by example and freeze its own pay for a fiscal year unless the Federal government did not run a deficit in the previous fiscal year; to the Committee on House Administration, and in addition to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Transparency events scheduled for 3/14-3/18:
- Washington’s Lobbying Fix. The Sunlight Foundation. Mon. 3/14. 2:00-3:30pm. Rayburn House Office Building 2203.
- Is Senate Reform an Oxymoron?. The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Mon. 3/14. 4:00-6:00pm. One Woodrow Wilson Plaza. 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW. Washington, DC 20004.
- Sunshine Week 2011 – The Road Forward on Open Government. Friday 3/18. 12:00-1:30pm. 1333 H St., NW, 10th Floor. Washington, DC 20005.