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Roy Blunt: Business as Usual
Posted by: Jon Henke on Monday, January 30, 2006

John Fund, in today's Opinion Journal...
Mr. Armey, a former economics professor, vividly recalls the House leadership meeting in late 2001 that prompted his decision to retire. Afterwards he returned to his office and wrote down his summary of how he saw the GOP Congress behaving: "We come to this town and we do things we ought not to be doing in order to stay in the majority so we can do things we ought to be doing that we never get around to doing." A few weeks later the man who was a chief drafter of the 1994 Contract with America announced he was leaving office.
That reversal of purpose — from "the end of government that is too big, too intrusive, and too easy with the public's money" to "beating Democrats" — was illustrated perfectly in the blogger conference call with House Majority leader candidate Rep. Roy Blunt when he said...
[Lobbying and earmark reform are] not much more than establishing the rules for the real work we have to do, which is to continue to move forward, just like we did last year.
You recall, of course, all the limited government measures passed by the GOP last year. Blunt called it "one of the most consequential finishes in a long time", so surely there must have been something consequential.

If one looks at Rep. Blunt's website, however, one finds that Blunt's "Accomplishments of 2005" included the Transportation Bill and the Energy Bill. He also touts the passage of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, which will cut spending by "$39 billion over five years", but, ironically, will actually increase the deficit.

So, let's review: Transportion Bill [$284b] + Energy Bill [$14.5b] - Deficit Reduction Act [$39b] = +$259.5 billion. [Huzzah!]

Roy Blunt is positively proud of this. If you visit his site, you'll also find this...
Congressman Blunt Delivers $27.17 Million for Southwest Missouri Research Projects
This is the kind of leadership that the Republican majority has demonstrated in recent years, and I have every expectation that a Majority Leader Blunt would be only too happy to continue doing business as usual.


Meanwhile — and despite the Bush administration's constant assurances that we are on track to "cut the deficit in half" by 2009 — here is a graphic reminder of what Business as Usual is accomplishing...

If the Republicans elect Roy Blunt Majority Leader, they'll deserve the Democratic revolution that follows.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
I’m sympathetic, but perhaps some perspective is in order, here.

I seem to recall there being a good deal of howling from the Democrats about cutting the growth raye of discretionary spending...(though as usual it was cast as overall cuts... you know the drill).

Which raises the logical question; Let’s say all discretionary spending was cut... (yeah, like that’s gonna happen with this small a majority in Congress) how much would the charts you post be altered? How much of the spending listed thereon, is discretionary?
Written By: Bithead
Good point Bithead. After all, some of that spending is the non-discretionary Medicare drugs for Seniors program supported by the Republicans as well. We don’t want them off the hook for that either.

Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
(yeah, like that’s gonna happen with this small a majority in Congress)

How much of a "majority" does one need? Isn’t it either you have a majority or you don’t? It’s like this filibuster thingie, even if the Dem’s filibust Alito, wouldn’t the Rep. majority be able to enact the so-called “nookyooler option”?

I’m certainly no expert on how the Congress works,… So…
Please enlighten me.
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
Depends on what they’re trying to do, there’s Majority, and then there’s Super Majority, and then there’s 2/3’s votes...

So it’s not so simple as "we have more votes than you....nyah nyah nyah nyah"
Written By: looker
URL: http://
If the reps tried half as hard to enact whatever agenda they claim to have when they have a majority as they do when they are a minority, perhaps they would be a little more successful. Of course it takes leadership and a willingness to fight for what you claim to believe in. And although it may not be simple, that is not a good reason not to even try.
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Now I am not a fan of crazy spending, but one thing I have been worrying about during the past few months is the absolute vilification of earmarking.

We have to get hold of the abusive earmarking, which goes without saying. But if we go as far as saying "NO EARMARKS EVER," we will be cutting off our nose to spite our face, or however that saying goes...

We have to remember, as Blunt referred to in CQ, that money for development of the missile-firing Predator drone aircraft was funded by an earmark.

Just something to remember.
Written By: Hold the Boat
URL: http://
I don’t believe anyone is saying "no earmarks ever". In fact, as I noted yesterday what is being said and what I support (I can’t speak for Jon and Dale but if I had to guess I’d say they too would support this sort of reform) there needs to be reform in the manner in which they’re done.

Sen’s McCain and Coburn are leading this sort of reform in the Senate. What they want to do is this:
That would have meant a roll call vote on each of the 15,268 special spending items in 2005 (nearly a four-fold increase over the previous decade) that individual members quietly slipped into massive bills in the dead of night.
Now, while 15,268 roll call votes is probably not practical, what some form of this strategy would do is see a drastic drop in those earmarks which a legislator might quietly slip into a massive bill and would be passed almost unnoticed. If they had to take ownership in a roll-call vote, suddenly they may not be as keen to do so.

IOW, the point here is to shine a spotlight into the proceedings, make legislators take ownership and justify their earmarks to both their constituents and the taxpayer at large.
Written By: McQ

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