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Government transparency websites targeted in budget cuts

Budget cuts

JEREMY HOBSON: Republicans and Democrats in Washington have until the end of the week to agree on billions of dollars in cuts or force a government shutdown. The cuts that are being considered would affect all kinds of things, including sites like Data.gov that are designed to make the federal government more open and efficient.

As Marketplace' Steve Henn reports -- sites like that could go dark at the end of May.


STEVE HENN: More than a half a dozen websites that publish government data about contracts and spending online are on the chipping block. Including:

DANIEL SHUMAN: USAspending.gov -- which often referred to as Google for government.

Daniel Schuman at Sunlight Foundation, says that sites a great way for average citizens to track their taxes dollars. Schuman says similar sites have helped budget hawks identify and cut $3 billion in unnecessary programs in the past two years.

SCHUMAN: Many leaders in Congress Democrats and Republicans in the House and the Senate have come out in favor of USASpending.gov and Data.gov. They have been praised at hearing after hearing, event after event. So it's particularly surprising it's now on the chopping block.

Right now the House and Senate have pegged the e-governance budget at its 2008 level, or $2 million. The White House says it would take about $34 million to keep all these web-sites up and running.

In Silicon Valley I'm Steve Henn for Marketplace.

About the author

Steve Henn was Marketplace’s technology and innovation reporter for the entire portfolio of Marketplace programs until December 2011.

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