S. 2590 is titled Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006.
According to the summary, it's purpose is to direct
the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to ensure the existence and operation of a single updated searchable database website accessible by the public at no cost, that includes for each entity receiving federal funding: (1) the amount of federal funds received in each of the last 10 fiscal years; (2) an itemized breakdown of each transaction; (3) the entity's location and primary location of performance; and (4) a unique identifier for the entity and its parent entity.
Introduced by Senator Corbin, it garnered 29 cosponsors including Senators Obama, McCain, Santorum, Clinton, Frist, and Boxer.
But there are those who don't want thir pork to be so transparent to the public. Someone placed an anonymous "hold" on the bill, preventing it from making any further legislative progress. Cox news reported
In an ironic twist, legislation that would open up the murky world of government contracting to public scrutiny has been derailed by a secret parliamentary maneuver. An unidentified senator placed a "secret hold" on legislation introduced by Sens. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Barack Obama, D-Ill., that would create a searchable database of government contracts, grants, insurance, loans and financial assistance, worth $2.5 trillion last year. The database would bring transparency to federal spending and be as simple to use as conducting a Google search.
The measure had been unanimously passed in a voice vote last month by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. It was on the fast track for floor action before Congress recessed Aug. 4 when someone put a hold on the measure.
Now the bill is in political limbo. Under Senate rules, unless the senator who placed the hold decides to lift it, the bill will not be brought up for a vote.
When this was uncovered, the cry went out among the blogosphere to discover who had put the hold. The folks at porkbusters had people call their Senators and have them declare on way or another, whether or not they placed the hold, and if so why.
It took a while, but the concerted effort smoked out the culprit
The identity of the blogosphere's "secret senator" has been revealed.
CNN has confirmed that Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, has placed a hold on a bill that would require the government to publish online a database of federal spending.
"He does have a hold on the bill," Stevens' spokesperson Aaron Saunders told CNN. "At the time he placed the hold he notified Sen. [Tom] Coburn and his staff and identified several questions we had with the bill. Two weeks ago Sen. Coburn named Stevens as having a hold on the bill, so we don't consider it a secret."
So it is revealed that Mr "Bridge to Nowhere" is the guy.
But, was he the only one?
According to Porkbuster Mark Tapscott
On Aug. 29, Coburn staff is told by Frist leadership staff that at least one Democrat senator has placed an anonymous hold on the bill.
More transparency in government spending is essential to subvert both corruption in government and responsible management of government funds.
The pressure is on and the porkbusters are on the case.
UPDATE: Senator Byrd admits he was the Senate Democrat who placed a hold on the porkbuster legislation
West Virginia Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd admits that he placed a “secret hold” on legislation that would make uncovering the Byzantine world of federal contracting as easy as typing a Google search.
Tom Gavin, spokesperson for Byrd, confirmed to Cox Newspapers that the senator placed the hold on legislation introduced by Sens. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Barack Obama, D-Ill., before voting on the measure.
Byrd joins Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, for holding up the bill right before Congress left town on August 4....
Byrd has released his hold, now that there “has been time to better understand the legislation,” Gavin said.
The bipartisan “secret hold” surprised everyone on Capitol Hill because the measure has the support from heavy hitters of both political parties, including Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., and Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
No real surprise given that both Byrd and Stevens were the top two porkers in Congress.