Liberally Conservative

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free....... ~Ronald Reagan~

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Porker's of The Month - September 2006

Washington, D.C. Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) named all 171 members of Congress who voted against the disclosure of earmarks Porkers of the Month. On September 14, the House voted 245-171 for an internal rule change (H. Res. 1000) that requires all earmarks and their sponsors to be identified in spending, tax, and authorization bills.
xxx “This is a serious step toward opening up the earmarking process,” CAGW President Tom Schatz said. “Much remains to be done to end the abuse of earmarks, but that is no reason for voting against what is clearly an improvement over the status quo.”
xxx Of the 171 votes against the resolution, 147 were from Democrats. Twenty-two of the 24 nay votes from Republicans were members of the Appropriations Committee, infamous for its swollen earmarks, although not all on the committee opposed the measure. Committee Chairman Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.) had complained that the new requirement singled out appropriations bills but said that he would not whip the vote. Most earmarks are anonymously slipped into spending bills by individual appropriators without debate. The 2006 Congressional Pig Book identified 9,963 pork projects costing a record $29 billion in the fiscal 2006 appropriations bills.
xxx Changes to House rules are only in effect through the end of the current Congress, although House leaders have indicated that it would be renewed at the start of the new term. The House rule would also have no effect on the Senate’s earmark procedure, but the House changes are already helping to spur similar action in the Senate.
xxx House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member David Obey (D-Wis.) called the rules change a “trivial pursuit” and House Rules Committee Ranking Member Louise M. Slaughter (D-N.Y.) called it “shameful” and “a sham.” What is shameful is voting to oppose even the slightest exposure of the earmark process. Ironically, most of the “nay” voters undoubtedly have long lists of pet projects procured from the pork barrel proudly displayed on their websites.
xxx Partisan politics and self-interest clearly influenced what was an easy vote for transparency and accountability. For ignoring taxpayers’ outrage over the waste and corruption of pork-barrel spending, CAGW names the 171 ‘nay’ voters on H. Res. 1000 Porkers of the Month for September 2006.
xxx Citizens Against Government Waste is the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers.

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