OMB Watch Commends Obama Administration for Open Government Memos, Urges Strong Follow-Through

WASHINGTON, Jan. 21, 2009—OMB Watch today commended the Obama administration for making government openness and transparency one of its top priorities. In its first full day in office, the administration issued memos directing agencies to adhere to principles of openness and transparency and instructing the Attorney General to issue new guidelines on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that embody the spirit of open government.

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Eight Years of Anti-Regulatory Efforts Have Taken Toll on Nation, Report Finds

WASHINGTON, Jan. 14, 2009—OMB Watch today released a report that explores the results of the anti-regulatory actions of the Bush administration since Jan. 20, 2001. The report, The Bush Legacy: An Assault on Public Protections, was crafted in a narrative style by freelance writer and author Osha Gray Davidson and shows that attacks on a variety of common-sense regulations have taken a great toll on the United States.

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200+ Organizations, Individuals Press Obama and Congress on Government Openness Issues

WASHINGTON, Nov. 12, 2008—Today, more than 240 individuals and organizations called on President-elect Barack Obama and the 111th Congress to act on a series of government openness recommendations. The recommendations are included in a report from the 21st Century Right to Know Project, titled Moving Toward a 21st Century Right-to-Know Agenda: Recommendations to President-elect Obama and Congress.

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The Case for Sunlight

By Gary D. Bass, OMB Watch
Published September 25, 2008 on, the website of the Columbia Journalism Review
Only a few days ago, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson asked Congress to pass legislation that would allow his department to use $700 billion to purchase mountains of bad debt. That's 5 percent of the nation's total annual economic output, or to put it another way, that's even more than what has been spent on the war in Iraq. The magnitude of the funds requisitioned is matched only by the administration's requested level of unchecked power and opacity in how it would execute this historic market intervention.

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OMB Watch Announces Winners of Public Interest Hall of Fame and Rising Star Awards

WASHINGTON, Sept. 10, 2008—OMB Watch is pleased to announce the winners of its Public Interest Hall of Fame and Public Interest Rising Star Awards. The awards are part of OMB Watch's year-long 25th Anniversary celebration.

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OMB Watch Applauds Congress's Safety-First Approach to Phthalates, Consumer Protection

WASHINGTON, Aug. 1, 2008—Congress has finally finished work on a critically important bill that revamps our nation's consumer product safety net. The House and Senate both passed the bill with overwhelming bipartisan support. One part of the bill bans certain phthalates, a class of chemicals found in a variety of plastic products, in children's toys. OMB Watch today called on President George W. Bush to sign the bill when it comes to his desk.

read in full Reaches 10 Millionth Search; Additional Data Now Available

WASHINGTON, July 29, 2008—In June 2008, the groundbreaking website reached another milestone — the site saw its 10 millionth search by a person since its launch in October 2006. In that time, has grown to process more than 1 million searches from approximately 400,000 unique visitors each month. On July 1, ranked 32,259 in traffic among websites on the Internet.

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New Paper Offers Comprehensive Analysis of War on Terror's Toll on Charities, Foundations

WASHINGTON, July 14, 2008—OMB Watch and Grantmakers Without Borders today released a paper that comprehensively documents the impacts that the war on terror is having on charities, foundations, and underserved populations around the globe. Titled Collateral Damage: How the War on Terror Hurts Charities, Foundations, and the People They Serve, the paper makes clear that shortsighted, undemocratic policies are constraining the critical activities of the charitable and philanthropic sectors, stifling free speech, and ultimately impeding the fight against terrorism.

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OMB Watch Presses IRS on Bright-Line Political Intervention Rule for Charities, Religious Orgs

WASHINGTON, June 3, 2008—In recent comments to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regarding the agency's guidance priorities for 2008-2009, OMB Watch reiterated the need for a bright-line rule that unambiguously defines prohibited political intervention activities for charities and religious organizations incorporated under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

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OMB Watch Statement: Compromise Efforts on FY 2009 Budget Resolution

WASHINGTON, April 22, 2008—Two major challenges face a congressional conference committee this week as it enters a critical period in forging a compromise out of the House and Senate FY 2009 budget resolutions adopted in March. The conference committee will need to address some of the glaring inadequacies and misplaced priorities in funding for domestic investments in both the House and Senate resolutions. It will also need to reconcile two significant differences between these versions if a final resolution for FY 2009 is to pass Congress.

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