Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced Wednesday that she plans to publish the quarterly Statement of Disbursements online a move that will make Members expenditures much more accessible to the public.
In a letter to House Chief Administrative Officer Dan Beard, Pelosi asked that the statements be put into an online format at the earliest date.
The House is making every effort to operate in a transparent manner and online publication of these reports will expand accountability to taxpayers and the press, she wrote.
Access to the reports, she added, will be free and they will be placed on a House Web site.
For years, the expenditures of Members and committees have only been available in thick volumes published every quarter. The books list how Congressional offices are spending taxpayer money, yet they are only available for purchase at the Capitol or from the Government Printing Office.
That system does not allow all interested parties to review the information contained in the reports, Pelosi wrote in the letter.
The Web site legistorm.com was the first to post salaries online in a searchable format. But the disbursement books include far more information about other office expenditures and travel expenses.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.