Obama’s Radio Address Highlights Earmarks.gov Web Site to Increase Transparency on Gov’t Wasting ‘Billions of Taxpayer Money’

By Penny Starr | November 13, 2010 | 4:01 AM EST

President Barack Obama meeting with his staff and Cabinet members in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 4, 2010. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is at left, and Chief of Staff Pete Rouse is at center. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(CNSNews.com) – In his weekly radio address, President Barack Obama announced an update of the administration’s Web site, www.earmarks.gov, to help shed light on “Washington’s habit that wastes billions of taxpayer dollars, and take a step towards restoring public trust.”

“I agree with those Republican and Democratic members of Congress who’ve recently said that, in these challenging days, we can’t afford what are called earmarks,” Obama said. “These are items inserted into spending bills by members of Congress without adequate review.”

The president said that while some earmarks support “worthy projects,” many do not.

“Now, some of these earmarks support worthy projects in our local communities,” Obama said. “But many others do not. We can’t afford ‘Bridges to Nowhere’ like the one that was planned a few years back in Alaska.

“Earmarks like these represent a relatively small part of overall federal spending,” Obama said. “But when it comes to signaling our commitment to fiscal responsibility, addressing them would have an important impact.”

The updated Web site will provide more information on the earmarks that were passed last year and connect those with Congress members who pushed for them, according to a press release sent to reporters ahead of the president’s weekly address.

Obama said as a senator he fought to end wasteful spending in Washington and wants to continue to do so as president.

“Today, we have a chance to go further,” said the president. “We have a chance to not only shine a light on a bad Washington habit that wastes billions of taxpayer dollars, but take a step towards restoring public trust.”

“We have a chance to advance the interests not of Republicans or Democrats, but of the American people,” he said, “to put our country on the path of fiscal discipline and responsibility that will lead to a brighter economic future for all.”

“And that’s a future I hope we can reach across party lines to build together,” Obama said. “Thanks everybody, and have a great weekend.”