Friday, June 15, 2007

The Hill: Democrats Capitulate on Earmarks

House agrees on earmarks:
By Jackie Kucinich
June 14, 2007

After several hours of negotiations, Republicans and Democrats agreed on how to deal with earmarks during the appropriations process, ending a three-day GOP standoff that virtually brought the House floor to a standstill.

The deal, brokered primarily between Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Appropriations Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.) and Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), allows the Homeland Security and Military Construction bills to move through the House with no earmarks this week under unanimous consent with limited debate. Both bills traditionally have very few earmarks...

...Hoyer and Obey confirmed the details on the House floor in response to members’ questions...

...“Every earmark starting with Monday forward will be included in the bills,” Hoyer said...

...Hoyer and Obey explained that due to the amount of earmarks and the complicated nature of the Energy and Water bill, it’s earmarks will be attached to a separate report that will be fully considered by the House. The bill will be sent to the Senate as one document.

This is how Minority Leader Boehner characterized the agreement:
...We relentlessly highlighted Democrats' broken promises on earmark reform, and assailed the majority for gutting Republican reforms that give each lawmaker the right to challenge individual earmarks on the House floor. Less than two days later, Democrats capitulated.

This was a team effort -- plain and simple. Everyone from Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-TX, and the Republican Study Committee to Rep. Paul Ryan, R-WI, and his budget committee team; from Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-CA, and his appropriations team to our leadership and everyone in between -- we won this by sticking together. Of course, we also had some help from the outside – notably the "Porkbusters" coalition that rallied taxpayers across the country to sign a letter offering to help Obey and House Democrats review their secret earmarks....


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