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September 14, 2006

Appropriations Committees Resist Further Necessary Reforms To Corrupt Earmark Process

The duece you say. Read about the reform not yet passed (this is not Obama-Coburn, already cleared through Congress) and ask: "What earthly reason, apart from plain corruption or disonesty, would motivate someone to oppose this common-sense reform?"

Under the proposed change, all committee reports for appropriations bills, authorization bills or tax bills will be required to contain a list of all the earmarks in the legislation along with the names of the member who requested the earmark. Also, conference reports will be required to contain the same list with additions from the conference. Members who find a particular earmark inappropriate or egregious will have the freedom to highlight that project.

The House Rules Committee is holding a committee markup on the rule change tomorrow and a vote has been scheduled for Thursday. The vote will be close.

Appropriators (of course) have problems with the legislation. As many as 15 appropriators could oppose the measure as it is currently written. There is hope of winning some Democratic votes though. The place to look for Democrat votes will be amongst the 35 moderates β€” a remnant of the blue dogs β€” who voted for line item veto powers for the President. But these votes will not come easy.

Democratic Leadership will be reluctant to allow GOP leadership a β€œwin” on an issue that is an intra-party problem (appropriators vs. rest of party) β€” especially because the issue is crucial to the fiscal conservative base who is considering what kind of mood to be in come November. As such, there may be significant pressure from Democratic leadership to scuttle GOP attempts to make this new rule.

Also read there about Rahm Emmanuel's attempt to slip in a rules change which, while superficially unobjectionable, seems designed to scuttle the difficult negotiations at the eleventh hour under the pretext of just wanting "more reform."

You can wait for "more reform" until the next session, Rahm, and you know it.

Instapundit has a list of Congressmen who need to be lobbied -- by their constituents. If you're a constituent, dial the number and ask to speak to the person who ostensibly represents you.

Squeeze 'em 'til their pips squeak.

Meanwhile... Obama-Coburn passes and only awaits the President's signature.

They've issued a statement thanking you.

β€œThis landmark transparency legislation will reduce wasteful spending by empowering every American to be a citizen investigator capable of holding the government accountable for spending decisions,” Coburn and Obama said. β€œThe bloggers, commentators and citizens who tirelessly pushed for this transparency legislation deserve full credit for its enactment.”

Thanks to Deep Stoat for the last bit.

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posted by Ace at 04:09 PM

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