Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Pork and... more pork

Glenn Reynolds sums it up well:
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.
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.

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?


  1. I haven't seen any data that show the Dems are worse -- or even as bad as the Repubs -- but if you're right, it's a total disgrace.

  2. True. I wish the article would give the total in pork spending, but I think part of the point is it's hard to even see what's what!

    36,000 earmarks sounds like a hell of a lot, though.

  3. It looks about average, if wikipedia is correct.

    The House Appropriations Committee receives about 35,000 individual spending requests per year.

  4. Well, it's only June. Granted most would come earlier in the year, but we're already past that. Most importantly, it's after rules were specifically passed as a show of being 'tough' on them.

  5. I'm not saying the Dems aren't bad -- it's a disgrace, frankly -- just that they aren't necessarily as bad as, or worse than, the Republicans.