Dems Redefining Earmarks to Fulfill Obama's Pledge
9:55 AM, Jan 12, 2009 • By BRIAN FAUGHNAN
Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama have now both promised that the upcoming economic stimulus bill won't include any earmarks. Both have used Clintonian language to limit the scope of their promises, but that hasn't gotten all that much attention.
Barack Obama has said that the stimulus bill will contain no earmarks -- unless those earmarks get Congressional "review." And yesterday on CNN's Late Edition, Speaker Pelosi promised that there will be no earmarks "in the bill that passes the House" -- pointedly leaving open the possibility that earmarks will be inserted during Senate consideration, or when the House passes the likely conference report before it is sent to the president.
How strange that two of the three leaders involved in the process (we're awaiting comment from Harry Reid) would both leave huge loopholes in their "no earmark" promises. It's enough to make you think that there might really be earmarks. Roll Call makes clear today that there will be:
So at the end of the day, it's unlikely that anti-pork crusaders will be able to find a list of projects tucked away into the text of the stimulus package. But it's just as certain that congressional Democrats will know exactly where the money is going to get spent -- and they'll be making sure their district get 'their fair share' before any bill is signed into law.
Just another object lesson in change, Washington style.