Toward Greater Congressional Transparency:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi should be commended for her recent effort to increase transparency and accountability within Congress. The Washington Post reports:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said yesterday that the House will soon start posting online quarterly records of how members use their personal office funds, giving watchdog groups a chance to examine staff salaries and other spending by members of Congress.

Congress has long published such information in a volume called the Statement of Disbursements, but it will now be released online, which Pelosi said would increase transparency. The change comes as members of the British Parliament are under fire for spending huge sums of taxpayer money through their public accounts on such expenses as cleaning a moat and having light bulbs installed in their homes.

"Consistent with my goal to increase transparency and ensure greater accountability to the public, please take all steps necessary to ensure that the quarterly Statement of Disbursements be made available online free of charge to the public and on a suitable House website," Pelosi wrote yesterday in a letter to the chief administrative officer of the House.

Now if only Congress were as transparent with regard to health care reform.