One chapter in the long, strange saga of the Federal Accountability and Transparency Act is over. Last night, the anti-pork legislation, which would create a "Google for government spending," was unanimously passed by the Senate and now moves on for consideration in the House. Up until now its fate has been uncertain, as at least two senators, Ted Stevens and Robert Byrd, had placed temporary holds on the bill, preventing it from a floor vote.
John Hart, a spokesman for Senator Tom Coburn, one of the bill's co-sponsors, told Mother Jones he expects only "minor modifications from the Senate bill" in the House. From here on, he believes, the legislation will pass quickly.
Building on the Transparency Act's momentum, Coburn, along with Senators Barack Obama and Frank Lautenberg, have expressed interest in drafting legislation that will bring greater transparency to the nation's very opaque tax code.
-- Carl Gutierrez