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January 22, 2008

No Executive Order on Earmarks

At least, that's what New York Times reporter Robert Pear says.

President Bush is unlikely to defy Congress on spending billions of dollars earmarked for pet projects, but he will probably insist that lawmakers provide more justification for such earmarks in the future, administration officials said Monday.

[...]

Lawmakers, including the House Republican whip, Roy Blunt of Missouri, have cautioned the White House that a furor over earmarks could upend Mr. Bushs hopes for cooperation with Congress on other issues, including efforts to revive the economy.

Moreover, Republicans shudder at the possibility that a Democratic president might reject all their earmarks.

In effect, the White House is avoiding a clash with Congress over specific projects while preserving the presidents ability to demand a further reduction in earmarks generally.

This does not sound to me like a good way to combat earmarks. It just adds another layer of people who have to be bought. The president's office is just going to target the earmarks it doesn't like or those which come from congressfolk it doesn't like. I suppose that is better than nothing, but as an attempt to "avoid a clash with Congress" I suspect it will fail spectacularly.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 01:24 PM

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