Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Senators Channel George A. Romero: Earmarks Come Back to Life

George Romero (of Dawn of the Dead and Night of the Living Dead fame) would probably have a copyright case if these Senators' actions were made into a movie (HT: Center for Investigative Reporting):
Lawmakers try to save their earmarks
Members of both parties lobby agencies behind the scenes for projects scrapped with the old GOP spending bill.

By Richard Simon and Will Evans, Special to The Times

July 10, 2007

WASHINGTON — After Democrats won control of Congress, they moved to fulfill their pledge to crack down on the controversial practice of lawmakers slipping projects in spending bills without public scrutiny.

In February, they scrapped Republican-drafted bills loaded with earmarks and passed a bill that they boasted had none.

Among those celebrating the achievement was Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who said that piecing together the $463.5-billion spending bill was difficult, "but we got it done without a single earmark."

But the day after President Bush signed it, Reid wrote federal agencies to "strongly support the priorities" in the discarded GOP bills. "I believe they are essential to the nation and to my home state of Nevada."

Reid was not alone in seeking to save his earmarks.

Lawmakers from both parties — including Democrats ranging from the most senior, such as Sen. Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia, to one of the most junior, such as Sen. Jon Tester of Montana — pressed agencies to grant their spending requests, according to correspondence obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the Center for Investigative Reporting...


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