John Boehner-- The Reformer?
Do you remember when one of the
As part of the Republican reformer pose, the man who handed out tobacco lobbyists' bribe checks to Republican members on the floor of the House-- during a vote-- John Boehner (who subsequently used his ability to funnel massive amounts of tainted corporate cash to Republican members to catapult him into his party's leadership), announced his party would lead the march to end earmarks. He promised to report to the American people this week. Problem: the Jerry Lewis/Don Young wing of the party, which is convinced that politics is all about sucking up money from the Big Business interests you serve, is not going along with Boehner's game plan.
Keep in mind that when Hoyer scuttled earmark reforms that many Democrats want, his argument was basically that the Republicans are even worse than he and his cronies are. Well, that may be true, but that's the difference between an F and a D. Hoyer's pathetic push-back: You can't spell "earmark" without an "r." The man should retired or become a school crossing guard. This morning's Hill reported that Republican "members disagree over whether the report should recommend that the GOP conference end earmarking, even as GOP Senators and Democrats continue to put aside money in appropriations bill for local projects."
"We all have differences of opinion as to what we should do," task force panelist Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) told The Hill in an interview. “How do you make it binding? It ought to be something that applies to Republicans and Democrats House and Senate and the administration if they are going to reform the earmark process. All of us need to be involved in this process if we’re going to reform the earmark process.”
...Earmarks remain popular with members of both parties. An omnibus spending bill approved by the House last week included $3.8 billion in earmarks, nearly half of which were sponsored by Republicans.
Select Committee member Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said that in order to make the earmark reform meaningful, his party would have to be willing to forgo any and all earmarks, regardless of what the Democrats do.
The anti-earmark crusader notorious for challenging individual pork projects on the House floor, however, was pessimistic that House Republicans would unilaterally give up earmarks.
“There’s some of us who think this only matters if it’s something that we are all prepared to go alone on,” Flake said. “With the omnibus last week, I thought it was completely devastating ... immediately everybody says ‘same old, same old,’ and they are right.”
Select Committee on Earmark Reform Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) was optimistic that the report would be released sooner rather than later, despite the “very strong opinions around the table.” She said that makes her job as chairwoman “festive” and “feisty.”
Festive? Maybe she should join Hoyer at the school crosswalk. At least Hoyer voted for some baby step reforms of the earmark process in 2007. In fact all 232 Democrats voted for a rule to ban secrecy in the ear mark procedures, a good first step. At that time the Republican leaders stamped their feet and made a fuss but 48 of their followers abandoned them and joined the Democrats to pass the rule. Virtually all of the worst abusers of the earmark system-- as well as the congressmen most responsible for pushing the deficit spending into the stratosphere over the last 6 years-- voted against the resolution. Among the worst are crooks like Jerry Lewis (CA), Roy Blunt (MO), Thaddeus McCotter (MI), ex-lobbyist Brian Bilbray (CA), Gary Miller (CA), Pete Sessions (TX), Ken Calvert (CA), Mean Jean Schmidt (OH), Tom Feeney (FL), Buck McKeon (CA)... and, predictably John Boehner (OH) and his extremist whip Eric Cantor (VA)-- 152 shameless leeches on the body politic in all. And now they want to distort the record and make Rush Limbaugh listeners think they're reformers. Why bother when everyone who cares about reform and corruption already knows exactly what they are? So not just a bunch of Nazis (which even Michael Steele agreed is the case) but as corrupt as the day is long! Besides, if Boehner wants to start fighting about earmarks maybe he should have a talk with Miss McConnell, over on the other side of the hall; he's got $75 million worth of earmarks in the current budget.