WASHINGTON, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- Just in time for the November elections, the U.S. House has approved a tiny slice of lobbying and ethics reform promised to voters at the beginning of the year.
Voting 245-171, lawmakers approved an internal rule change requiring earmarks -- isolated and localized spending measures -- and their sponsors be disclosed in every type of bill, the Washington Post reports.
"We are blowing away the fog of anonymity," says Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif., chairman of the House Rules Committee. "The goal is to pull back the curtain on earmarks to the public."
Democratic lawmakers disagreed on the significance of the change.
David Obey, D-Wis., said the rule change will do little to alter federal spending, referring to the move as a "trivial pursuit."
Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, D-N.Y., said loopholes in the measure will still allow anonymous projects to be inserted into a law without public scrutiny.
Like all rule changes, the disclosure requirement adopted Thursday will expire at the end of the year. However Republican leaders say it is likely to be re-adopted in the next session.