The House Appropriations Committee has decided to insert earmarks into all of the FY08 spending bills during the conferencing committees, instead of during the initial House-only process.Protect the committee, how about protect the American taxpayer?
This will prevent lawmakers like Jeff Flake from offering amendments to strip out wasteful pork projects...which is EXACTLY why David Obey, the Approps Chairman, is changing the rules. In defending his move, Obey said ($),
“It’s my job to protect the committee."
Apparently, Obey's job to protect the American taxpayer is a lower priority. In a recent press release, Flake said, "This is a huge step backwards on earmark reform. As bad as the earmark process is now, this would make it immensely worse."
On this, the porkbusting blogosphere should raise its alert status to DEFCON 1. First the Murtha debacle and now this? Things are getting out of control.
This would almost too easy to make fun of if it weren't so insidious.
So when a Member of the opposing party wants to impose fiscal discipline on a Democratically controlled Congress that said it was going to be fiscally responsible and the cleanest Congress ever, we get one Chairman breaking both promises in one fell swoop.
I am feeling a real sense of closure for most members of Congress. If you thought the 2008 presidential campaign was going to be ugly, the Congressional campaigns are going to be downright nasty.