I didn't think it was possible for the Democrats to be worse in this regard than the GOP Congress was. Clearly, I suffered from a lack of imagination.Here's the full story. Excerpt:
Last December, victorious congressional Democrats pledged a one-year moratorium on all earmarks. New appropriations chairmen Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., and Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., issued a joint statement promising voters “there will be no congressional earmarks” until 2008 — and only after tough reforms were enacted.One of the things that drove everyone crazy about the GOP Congress was that it 'spent like Democrats'. Democrats noted at the time - correctly - that even they don't spend that much. Well, that didn't last long, did it?
No names of the earmarks’ sponsors were included because, since the bill was considered under a suspension of the rules, the House reforms adopted in January didn’t apply.
And Obey, House Appropriations Committee chairman, says colleagues have submitted so many earmarks — more than 36,000 — that he will hold all of them until after House and Senate conference committees report spending bills back to their respective chambers for final votes.
That means, according to The Associated Press, that “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.