commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

Earmarks are being thrown under the Bus by the Democrats in the House…….

Which is such a good thing…that the Dog wants to see how long they remain under the Bus?.….

There is a lot of money and influence we’re talking about here…….

House Democratic leaders on Wednesday banned budget earmarks to private industry, ending a practice that has steered billions of dollars in no-bid contracts to companies and set off corruption scandals.

The ban is the most forceful step yet in a three-year effort in Congress to curb abuses in the use of earmarks, which allow individual lawmakers to award financing for pet projects to groups and businesses, many of them campaign donors.

But House Republicans, in a quick round of political one-upmanship, tried to outmaneuver Democrats by calling for a ban on earmarks across the board, not just to for-profit companies. Republicans, who expect an intra-party vote on the issue Thursday, called earmarks “a symbol of a broken Washington.”

Both parties are seeking to claim the ethical high ground on the issue by racing to rein in a budgeting practice that has become rife with political influence peddling. So far, though, the Senate is not joining in. House Democrats had tried to reach an agreement with their counterparts to ban for-profit earmarks, but the senators balked, Congressional officials said.

Had the ban on for-profit earmarks been in place last year, it would have meant the elimination of about 1,000 awards worth a total of about $1.7 billion, leaders of the House Appropriations Committee said in announcing that, as a matter of policy, they will no longer approve requests for awards to for-profit groups. Many of those earmarks went to military contractors for projects in lawmakers’ home districts.

Under the new restrictions, not-for-profit institutions like schools and colleges, state and local governments, research groups, social service centers and others are still free to receive earmarks. The new restrictions, for example, would still allow the type of award to local governmental agencies that became infamous in 2005 with Alaska’s “Bridge to Nowhere.”

Representative David R. Obey, the Wisconsin Democrat who leads the Appropriations Committee, said a series of criminal investigations, ethics inquiries and political embarrassments had prompted him to take stronger steps.



From PoliticsDaily…..

Sen. Daniel Inoye (D-Hawaii), chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, will not follow Rep. David Obey’s move to ban federal earmarks to commercial businesses. Obey is the top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee.

Inoye said he found the House’s directive both “quizzical” and not in the best interests of the country.

“I am troubled by what this policy insinuates. It seems to suggest that for-profit entities are corrupt and non-profit entities are above reproach,” he said in a statement. “All of our for-profit earmarks are already subject to competition. What is the rationale to eliminate them? All earmarks are also subject to the strict transparency rules that were implemented at the beginning of last year.”

The chairman said that the Predator drone, one of the military’s most successful weapons systems, came as the result of an earmark to a for-profit defense contractor.

Inoye also noted that the growth in earmarking over the last decade, which the House criticized, has come primarily in the non-profit sector, so preventing for-profits from receiving earmarks would not address the problem the House says it has with the system.

Not to be outdone by their Democratic counterparts, the House Republicans proposed a ban on all earmarks after Obey made his announcement.

Regardless of the decisions by House Republicans and Democrats, Inoye’s move means that the House will still end up approving earmarks passed by the Senate. That’s because the House and Senate must approve conference reports that combine House and Senate versions of a bill before it becomes law.

Congress awarded nearly $16 billion in earmarks for the current fiscal year, according to the watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense.

He, He, he…..I thought so….the ban didn’t last 24 hours……somehow……. I think the Republicans knew this….

March 11, 2010 - Posted by | Breaking News, Government, Law, Media, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, The Economy, Updates | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Obey looks like he needs to shave his ugly beard.

    HA-HA !

    I’ll keep y’all updated on funeral arrangements regarding the late Oregon State Treasurer Ben Westlund (D).

    Comment by Conservative Democrat | March 11, 2010 | Reply

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