While some journalists may have despaired of tracking the political lardoons lacing the final omnibus stopgap spending bill ("Continuing Resolution") coming as a finale to the 11th Congress, some hard-working citizen groups may have saved the day.
A database of requested earmarks, often regarded as pork-barrel spending, for fiscal year 2011 is now available here.
The database contains 39,294 requested earmarks, worth $130 billion, although it is impossible to know ahead of time which earmarks will appear in the CR finally enacted. It was produced by Taxpayers for Common Sense, WashingtonWatch.com, and Taxpayers Against Earmarks. It is a downloadable, Zipped Excel spreadsheet.
Despite recent pledges by various members and factions of Congress to abstain from earmarks (instructions in appropriations legislation to spend money on a particular project), the members of the current (111th) Congress appear to have fallen off the wagon with a spectacular thud as it draws to a close.