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John McCain and Barack Obama are allies on "transparency"

June 3, 2008 |  5:17 pm

Here's an issue -- probably one of the few -- that Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama won't be trading broadsides over as the presidential race enters it next phase: opening government spending to more public scrutiny.

Just today, the two men, along with a pair of other senators, joined as co-sponsors of a bill with that goal in mind -- even as McCain was expected to focus rhetorical fire on Obama in an evening speech in New Orleans and Obama, in remarks later tonight from Minnesota, prepared to do the same to McCain.

Talk about multitasking!

The bill is a follow-up to legislation that Obama, McCain and Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) pushed into law in 2006 (with the latter lawmaker playing an especially key role, given that GOP still controlled Congress at the time).

The original measure, the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act, created a single website -- -- where the public, free of charge, can track down details on "all entities and organizations" receiving federal money. The proposal was hailed by an array of government watchdog groups and sailed through Congress.

The new bill aims to make more data more easily accessible to the public.

-- Don Frederick