Who's upset with the Omnibus Spending Bill?

When the Omnibus Spending Bill (H.R. 1105) passed in the House by 245-178, was anyone upset that it was filled with earmarks? This after Obama's team went to great lengths to avoid earmarks in the Stimulus Bill.

As Down With Tyranny pointed out this morning:

Pathetically, Democrats are defending earmarks by pointing out Republicans-- who American voters already detest for being corrupt-- do it too. Yes, they do; and that's part of why they were kicked out of office. Disgracefully, Hoyer distributed a handout yesterday claiming "You can't spell `earmark' without an `R,'" which stated that 40% of the earmark dollars included in the omnibus spending bill were put there by Republicans.
Geez! Doesn't that mean that 60% are put there by Democrats?

I know I have low personal feelings for Steny Hoyer who made that statement (and he used to be my Congressman when I lived in Greenbelt! One of the reasons it doesn't hurt to not live there anymore), but all Democrats should be down on this crap.

When is Feingold's bill to end earmarks going to go through?

Under The LobsterScope

Tags: Earmarks, Steny Hoyer, waste (all tags)

Comments

8 Comments

This also chaps my hide...

Steny is a fricking moran.

Obama, if you sign this bill as is, without getting rid of those earmarks, a lot of my faith in you goes out the door.

The Republicans did it too?

What's next, corrupting the Justice Department and denying Global Warming like the Bush-ies?

by WashStateBlue 2009-02-26 07:02AM | 0 recs
Depends on what the earmarks are

Do you remember when Hillary Clinton was criticized for taking money for the Woodstock museum?

That was an earmark...but one that no doubt helped the community of Bethel, New York which desperately needed more tourism and jobs. She was definitely helping her constituents in Bethel with that earmark.

But to someone in Kansas, they ask "why is my money being spent on THAT?"

I have no real problems with earmarks as long as we know what they're for and we can judge them and the person asking for them.

My congressman received an earmark to build a Senior Citizens center in our community...keeps my grandmother busy in her old age.

by DTOzone 2009-02-27 04:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Who's upset with the Omnibus Spending Bill?

Outraged, no. When earmarks only represent 1% of the total bill. It is an improvement. Not perfect, but an improvement. I agree they need to go. You want something for your state and that's understandable, write a separate bill and let it pass or fail on its own merits.

by jsfox 2009-02-26 07:04AM | 0 recs
Exactly

Take em out, and put them in a bill with YOUR name on it....Let it stand on it's qwn merits or not.

This way, those with the most senority win, they blackmail everyone to voting the MOST pork for their state, cause they as the biggest dog put the most in..

Ted Stevens has plenty of disciples in the Democratic party.

This is cowardice, and not happy Steny is claiming Democrats are only SLIGHTLY more cowards then the Republicans...

by WashStateBlue 2009-02-26 07:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Who's upset with the Omnibus Spending Bill?

An earmark is simply the Legislative Branch deciding where a particular sum of money gets spent, as opposed to the Executive Branch.  Now, maybe you believe in a world where the Legislative Branch is a bunch of selfless porkers with no concern for the common good, and the Executive Branch is a bunch of dispassionate experts who never ever waste money, but that's not the world I inhabit.

In the real world, a total ban on earmarks simply means that if you have a special project that you want government funds for, now you have to send your hired lobbyist over to the other side of Capitol Hill.  In fact, you could make a case that it's a lot easier to implement transparency and public accountability in Congress than it is within the murky depths of the Executive Branch bureaucracy.

There's nothing offensive or even interesting about 1% of a spending bill consisting of earmarks, and it wouldn't save the taxpayers one dime if those earmarks were removed.  People need to get real about this and stop being such a bunch of little John McCains.

by Steve M 2009-02-26 07:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Who's upset with the Omnibus Spending Bill?

I'm sorry this visual

bunch of little John McCains
is just creeping me out

by jsfox 2009-02-26 07:58AM | 0 recs
I think the percentage issue is a red herring....,

Would it be OK to be outraged if this was 5%?

10%?

Steve, NO ONE wants to eliminate individual projects in congress, so I think you're throwing down a bit of a red herring.

If INDIVIDUAL BILLS were introduced for this stuff, we would have records of authorship, and we might see WHO is making WHAT scratch my back I will scratch yours kind of deal here.

These projects would live and die on their true merit, not just "we lumped them all in, so it's a bit more invisible."

I WANT to see some congressmen, in the middle of a recession, up there pushing some of those goofy pork projects that are just about getting him relected.

I want to see which lobbiest gets his hook into who.

This is sneaking it in the dead of night method.

And, you can't just say 1% is ok, unless THAT is a hard fast rule...Slippery slope anyone?

Isn't saying it's only 1% like saying "it's just a little corruption this time..."

by WashStateBlue 2009-02-26 07:58AM | 0 recs
Re: I think the percentage issue

It is not reasonable to expect that every minor spending provision will get its own standalone bill and full debate on the Senate floor.  There are only so many days on the legislative calendar.

Some "goofy pork projects" are truly wasteful, I'm confident of that.  Many of them, however, are good projects that serve the needs of the community and create jobs, but people outside the community aren't going to grasp the importance because they're unfamiliar with local concerns.  To Bobby Jindal, volcano monitoring is a goofy pork project.  Personally, I'd rather strike a bargain in which he agrees not to whine about your volcano monitoring, and you agree not to complain about his hurricane monitoring.

Your use of the word "corruption" suggests that you're not coming to terms with the reality of what earmarks are.  Why is it that if the Department of Transportation earmarks a million bucks to repair the 39th Street Bridge, that's awesome, but if your local Congressman earmarks a million bucks to repair the 39th Street Bridge, that's corruption?

Let's be clear about one thing: I am totally in favor of more transparency in the Congressional process.  In fact, as I said above, I think the potential for transparency is far greater in the legislative process than it is once an omnibus spending authorization passes Congress and reaches the Executive Branch.  But this idea that any kind of targeted spending by Congress necessarily has to be wasteful pork and evidence of corruption, I can't get on board with that.  At some point, someone has to decide exactly how the money gets spent.

by Steve M 2009-02-26 08:40AM | 0 recs

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