January 5, 2007

Foreshadow of Serious Earmark Reform?

Carroll Andrew Morse

I may have to give the new Congressional Democrats some credit. During the past election, I commented several times on this June 2006 statement by Congressman Jim Moran of Virginia…

”When I become chairman [of a House appropriations subcommittee], I'm going to earmark the sh** out of it,” Moran buoyantly told a crowd of 450 attending the event.
Well, according to Andy Roth of the Club for Growth, Congressman Moran's Democratic peers have denied him his anticipated chairmanship (h/t Instapundit). According to the new House Appropriations Committee website, Congressman Moran was 10th in Appropriations seniority, while 12 subcommittee chairmanships were available, indicating that the Democratic leadership actively decided to skip him over. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio (5th in seniority) and Ed Pastor of Arizona (12th in seniority) were also passed over, and Robert Kramer of Alabama (15th in seniority) would have been next-in-line for a subcommittee chairmanship, had not one been given to the very junior Debbie Wasserman-Schultz of Florida (36th in seniority).

For those Rhode Islanders who are curious, Congressman Patrick Kennedy ranks 16th in Appropriations seniority.

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And they followed up with this (from the Chicago Trib):

"House changes rules on pork-barrel projects

WASHINGTON -- Bye-bye, bridge to nowhere.

In one of its first official acts under Democratic control, the House voted 280-152 on Friday to curb the middle-of-the-night, backroom deal-making that resulted in approval of embarrassing—and sometimes illegal—pork barrel projects.

Forty-eight Republicans joined 232 Democrats to require committees to disclose all sponsors of so-called earmarks. The new rules would prohibit lawmakers from trading their votes for special spending projects tacked on to legislation, and it would require members to certify that they have no personal financial stake in their requests."

For those of us who are allergic to pork, this is an excellent start.

Posted by: SusanD at January 5, 2007 9:15 PM
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