[quote]Democrats hide pet projects from voters By ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press Writer
2 hours, 8 minutes 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.
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.[/quote]
Facelift Pelosi has done a masterful job of "draining the swamp" if I do say so myself....
I think the Dems haven't done enough and have faltered. They are acting like Republicans and like I have always said you can't tell the two parties apart.
Politics is about money, either you are rich before you are in office and get more rich or you will become rich while in office. Money has corrupted the entire political system and there is no end in sight.
[QUOTE=JetFanTransplant]Stupid attack on the poster aside... what's your comment on the content of the post? :rolleyes:[/QUOTE]
Democrats pulled one hell of a trick on America during the last November elections. All they had to do was run on the basis of "not staying the course", and after that they could pretty much whatever they damn please.
[QUOTE=cr726]I think the Dems haven't done enough and have faltered. They are acting like Republicans and like I have always said you can't tell the two parties apart.
Politics is about money, either you are rich before you are in office and get more rich or you will become rich while in office. Money has corrupted the entire political system and there is no end in sight.[/QUOTE]
Jets Insider VIP JetsInsider.com Legend Charter JI Member
the culture of hypocrisy strikes again!!
[QUOTE][B]House Democrats to insert earmarks behind closed doors
Jim Brown- OneNewsNow.com
June 7, 2007[/B]
A taxpayer watchdog group says Democrats in Congress are not living up to their promise of openness and transparency in the appropriations process. The group, Citizens Against Government Waste, says House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's vow that her party would preside over "the most honest, most open, and most ethical Congress in history" has already proven to be a phony promise.
House Appropriations Committee chairman David Obey (D-Wisconsin) has announced he will allow all earmarks into conference reports, which are negotiated behind closed doors and cannot be amended when they reach the House and Senate floors. Obey's plan ignores rules that House Democrats approved their first day in power in January to clearly identify pet projects requested by lawmakers.
David Williams, senior vice president for policy at Citizens Against Government Waste, says the congressman's plan to hide earmarks "does nothing to help the American taxpayer" or lawmakers who regularly fight pork-barrel spending, such as Republican Senators John McCain and Tom Coburn and Representative Jeff Flake. He contends that Democrats are doing the same old tricks the Republicans did by stuffing earmarks into conference reports.
"What they're going to claim is that technically it's still transparent that we're going to know who's doing this," says Williams. "But it's happening so late in the appropriations process that taxpayers and groups like Citizens Against Government Waste [are] not going to have time to really go after these projects and bring them to the public scrutiny," he predicts.
According to Williams, the appropriations process has not changed in Washington because those making the decisions have been in office so long that they "fundamentally believe ... it is their job to send as much money back to their district as possible."
"So when this big changeover happened in January, with the Democrats taking over," he explains, "they were still the same old politicians that they were before the election -- and they really still believe it is their God-given right to spend other people's money on these ridiculous projects."
Williams says there are three ways the Democrat-led Congress could reform earmarks -- give the president a line item veto so he can yank pork barrel projects; make it easy for lawmakers to raise a point of order on the floor of the House and Senate to remove the earmarks; or enforce its own rules by not adding any projects in the conference committee.
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