The president’s acquiescence with a bill that contains $8 billion in earmarks stands in contrast with what he said was a lesson learned from the 2010 midterm “shellacking,” when he indicated that he regretted not taking more of a stand against a different $8 billion in earmarks in a 2009 omnibus spending bill.
At his press conference after the shellacking, the president said that upon taking office, “we were in such a hurry to get things done that we didn’t change how things got done. And I think that frustrated people.”
The president said he’s “a strong believer that the earmarking process in Congress isn’t what the American people really want to see when it comes to making tough decisions about how taxpayer dollars are spent. And I, in the rush to get things done, had to sign a bunch of bills that had earmarks in them, which was contrary to what I had talked about. And I think folks look at that and they said, ‘Gosh, this feels like the same partisan squabbling, this seems like the same ways of doing business as happened before.’ And so one of the things that I’ve got to take responsibility for is not having moved enough on those fronts.”