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View Full Version : Democrats hide pet projects from voters


Bill Parcells
06-03-2007, 07:23 AM
By ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press Writer 2 hours, 1 minute ago

WASHINGTON - After promising unprecedented openness regarding Congress' pork barrel practices, House Democrats are moving in the opposite direction as they draw up spending bills for the upcoming budget year.
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Democrats are sidestepping rules approved their first day in power in January to clearly identify "earmarks" lawmakers' requests for specific projects and contracts for their states.

Rather than including specific pet projects, grants and contracts in legislation as it is being written, Democrats are following an order by the House Appropriations Committee chairman to keep the bills free of such earmarks until it is too late for critics to effectively challenge them.

Rep. David Obey (news, bio, voting record), D-Wis., says those requests for dams, community grants and research contracts for favored universities or hospitals will be added to spending measures in the fall. That is when House and Senate negotiators assemble final bills.

Such requests total billions of dollars.

As a result, most lawmakers will not get a chance to oppose specific projects as wasteful or questionable when the spending bills for various agencies get their first votes in the full House in June.

The House-Senate compromise bills due for final action in September cannot be amended and are subject to only one hour of debate, precluding challenges to individual projects.

Obey insists he is reluctantly taking the step because Appropriations Committee members and staff have not had enough time to fully review the 36,000 earmark requests that have flooded the committee.

What Obey is doing runs counter to new rules that Democrats promised would make such spending decisions more open.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070603/ap_on_go_co/congress_pet_projects


Great job Pelosi! :clap:

tiptap
06-03-2007, 07:31 AM
I am all for earmarks. I am not for pork barrel. There is a difference. The Republicans did it while they held the reigns. To the victor go the spoils. You hold out all of that stuff so you have plenty of room to influence party votes to get legislation passed. Its not bad politics and government.

wazu
06-03-2007, 07:32 AM
As a result, most lawmakers will not get a chance to oppose specific projects as wasteful or questionable when the spending bills for various agencies get their first votes in the full House in June.

What? Don't they get to vote "No" on the bill after the pork is thrown in?

wazu
06-03-2007, 07:32 AM
I am all for earmarks. I am not for pork barrel.

What's the difference?

tiptap
06-03-2007, 07:42 AM
I admit it is somewhat relative. One man's earmarks are another man's pork. But there are a lot of needs for bridges and studies that are merited. As opposed to such things that really are not. Those are judgement calls and the judgement should be with the voters in their district about what the Congressman earmarked. Does it reflect the general good or does it represent political favors. The onus for me lies with a knowledgeable voting public. The haggling in Congress is just how effective the party and individual Congressperson are in securing earmarks. If the voting population is cynical about getting whatever it can get than one shouldn't expect better of the politicians.

tiptap
06-03-2007, 08:03 AM
The Democrats have rules that the earmarks sponsors shouldn't be hidden. If they keep that part in place for the most part then voters can make decisions about their Congressman.

Calcountry
06-03-2007, 09:44 AM
What's the difference?Because the bill has different cuts of pork in it, one for each congressman. If they want to get their cut, they must vote for the whole hog.

wazu
06-03-2007, 10:19 AM
Because the bill has different cuts of pork in it, one for each congressman. If they want to get their cut, they must vote for the whole hog.

I understand how the whole pork barrell thing works. I just don't see how the word "earmark" isn't sysnonymous with a "cut of pork".

jAZ
06-03-2007, 10:31 AM
I understand how the whole pork barrell thing works. I just don't see how the word "earmark" isn't sysnonymous with a "cut of pork".
The problem isn't ear marks, it's the lack of accountability on the earmarks.

patteeu
06-03-2007, 11:11 AM
ROFL I detect a gradually shifting position from those who once condemned Republicans for earmark/pork escalation now that the democrats run things. Predictable.

And if the democrats win the WH, deficits won't matter nearly as much anymore either.

noa
06-03-2007, 11:15 AM
Very disappointing. I was hoping the Dems would actually try to change in this department, but I guess politicians will be politicians and I will continue to be more and more jaded about the whole process.

Good people can benefit from pork, but that doesn't make it the right thing to do.