September 9, 2007

Parsing Earmarks with Our Entrenched Political Class: David Obey....

John Solomon & Jeffrey Birnbaum:

Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) confronted David R. Obey (D-Wis.), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, on the House floor in March over this practice, noting that a spending bill then under debate contained $35 million for a risk-mitigation program at a federal space-exploration facility, even though the measure had been certified to contain no earmarks.

"We have passed some good rules with regard to earmark reform and transparency," Flake said. "But we have found a way around them already." Obey said that the provision was not an earmark under the rules. "An earmark is something that is requested by an individual member," Obey said. "This item was not requested by any individual member; it was put in the bill by me."

Two months later, Obey again rebuffed Flake when Flake pointed out that a supposedly earmark-free bill on the House floor contained an allocation of $8.7 million to ward off floods in New York. The provision was not called an earmark, Flake noted, but Rep. Nita M. Lowey (D-N.Y.) put out a news release applauding the provision and its potential benefit to her district.

Much more on earmarks, here.

Posted by James Zellmer at September 9, 2007 7:07 AM | Subscribe to this site via RSS:
Posted to Politics | Taxes