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Real reform
Posted by: Jon Henke on Monday, November 13, 2006

Credit where it's due...
Democrats aim to open the next Congress in January with a new rule that identifies lawmakers who use legislative "earmarks" to help special interests — a change Republicans promised but didn't implement.
...that's real reform. That's what I had previously referred to as a "move to limit their own power and to change the underlying incentives". We'll see if they follow through, but there's little incentive for Democrats to make that claim after the election unless they intend to follow through.

The new Republican leadership needs to hold Pelosi to this pledge and make this a bipartisan bill. And perhaps they should apologize for not getting around to it themselves.
 
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Until the the dread phrase, is uttered, "Madam Speaker I move to suspend the rules..."
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Can we assume you’ll be holding your breath while Speaker Pelosi gets right on that for you?
 
Written By: Some Guy in Chicago
URL: http://
Of course nancy brought back $115 Million in earmarks for SanFran and I’m fairly SURE those won’tbe considered "special interest" earmarks...
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Of course nancy brought back $115 Million in earmarks for SanFran
Yes, and I dislike excessive humidity. Not really relevant, but as long as we’re making non-sequitur complaints. She’s not proposing to eliminate earmarks. She’s proposing that their sponsors be identified. That’s a substantial step forward. Would you prefer the Democrats didn’t pass such a bill?
Can we assume you’ll be holding your breath while Speaker Pelosi gets right on that for you?
"We’ll see if they follow through..." That’s why I suggest Republicans hold her to this.


 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://QandO.net
Very bipartisan of you.
I’ve seen reports published of a much broader agenda than this in the lobbying reform. Not going to bother to look it up, and it wouldn’t surprise me if it gets whittled down (especially with Steny Hoyer at #2) -

but this may not even be the last step.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
Again, there is a bill about transparency ALREADY enacted, and it is defeated, in the Senate, by suspending the rules...I am fairly sure that this bill will be subject to the same problem. And yes Jon, it IS relevant that Pelosi likes earmarks in a big way...because it suggests that any earmark reform is going to be window-dressing. Come on, dude, when the fox is guarding the hen house and proclaims an end to vixenish depradations do you really believe them?
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
H. Res 1000 provided for "earmarking reform in the House of Representatives." When voted on (14 Sep this year), Ms. Pelosi voted ’no’.

Now, on House Bills you see this:
The bill contains language requiring disclosure under House Resolution 1000 on page 46, lines 16 through page 47, line 10. This section requires the establishment of an intermodal rail radiation detection test center to be located at a port with the majority of its cargo leaving the facility using on-dock, intermodal rail. The language is from an amendment offered by Senator Cantwell.

The bill also contains language requiring disclosure on page 50, lines 1 through 10. This section requires the establishment of a Border Patrol unit in the United States Virgin Islands. The language is from an amendment offered by Delegate Christensen.

The bill also contains language requiring disclosure on page 190, line 16 through page 191, line 3. This section authorizes such sums as may be necessary for the Northern Border Air Wing Branch located in Great Falls, Montana. The language is from an amendment offered by Senator Baucus.

The bill also contains language requiring disclosure on page 193, lines 8 through 12. This section amends the conveyance date for United States Coast Guard Property in Portland, Maine. The language is from an amendment offered by Senator Collins.
That’s obviously disclosing what would commonly be called "earmarks".

So perhaps we need to relook Ms. Pelosi’s committment to eliminating them and the claim that Republicans haven’t passed anything.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
H. Res 1000 provided for "earmarking reform in the House of Representatives." When voted on (14 Sep this year), Ms. Pelosi voted ’no’.
In Sept 2006, after 12 years of Republican rule, the Republicans put up an earmark bill that sunsets in 2 months. C’mon Q, get real.


I am so sick of both sides pointing at the other with claims about what they did and didn’t vote for. In virtually every bill, there are numerous items up for vote, it is quite common for poison pills 9or what to some Reps amount to poison pills) to be put into otherwise positive legislation, and then down the road pretend the poison pill wasn’t there and X Lawmaker voted against only the positive legislation.

I propose that laws stand on their own, and earmarks stand on their own. If you want a $250 million dollar bridge to nowhere, fine, put the bill up, name yourself as the sponsor, and let Reps vote on the bridge. Don’t stick the bridge in a bill paying for crutches for Iraq war injury amputees, and then later on when someone voted against it because of the bridge, point out how they hate the troops because they voted against the crutches.

Cap

 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
In Sept 2006, after 12 years of Republican rule, the Republicans put up an earmark bill that sunsets in 2 months. C’mon Q, get real.
And your point? It’s not like Nancy didn’t have a chance to vote for the the bill or that she’s going to be the first to do anything. In fact, what she will be able to do is renew the thing ... which is fine with me. One hopes, this time though, that she’ll vote for it instead of against it.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
And your point? It’s not like Nancy didn’t have a chance to vote for the the bill or that she’s going to be the first to do anything. In fact, what she will be able to do is renew the thing ... which is fine with me. One hopes, this time though, that she’ll vote for it instead of against it.
You’re funny.

It was a garbage bill, it won’t be renewed, a real bill will be passed.

I find it entertaining that you don’t see it as significant that this was a law self destructed in 60 days, perhaps that’s why she voted against it, knowing that if the Republicans won, they would have let it die, while she wanted a bill that actually became and stayed law.

Pelosi said "the rules change would not reduce a single earmark or save a single dollar"

Why would you vote for a resolution that you believe would not achieve it’s ostensible goal?

Cap
 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
1) I doubt that earmarks are going away under Speaker Pelosi. Jim Moran, IIRC, in line to chair at least one sub-committee is quoted as saying something to the effect of "earmarking the $hit out of the budget", added to the fact that the Speaker herself brought home $155 million in earmarks.
2) Earmarks are like "Pork." Bad when YOU get them, Good when I get them.
3) and to echo Henke, earmarks are like Foreign Aid, everyone is against it, but even if you eliminated it so what? Get rid of Foreign Aid, Ok now that that .1% of the budget is gone, what? Get rid of earmarks. Now that that 2% of the budget is gone, now what? I’ll tell you what, let the Earmarks grow at 1.5 % per year, as a proportion of the budget, but let the Federal Budget grow at 1-2% less than Real GDP growth and I’d take that deal. Let earmarks GROW as a proportion of the budget, so long as the budget itself SHRANK as a proportion of GDP.

Captin, are you really telling me that Speaker Nancy is going to tell the citizens of SanFran, "You know, you guys don’t get the goodies next year?" The problem is the size of the budget notearmarks. Earmarks a minority of the budget, just someting that you can latch onto. So shrink the relative size of the Federal Budget and leave earmarks untouched and you’d do more for the body politic. Personally, I don’t see Speaker Pelosi doing that either.

Bottom-line: Earmarks help D’s or R’s and I doubt you will see them go anywhere. And even if they disappear the problem isn’t solved, becasue earmarks weren’t the problem.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
It was a garbage bill, it won’t be renewed, a real bill will be passed.
Of course it was garbage, Cap .. the Republicans passed it. And, unlike the Republican bill the Democrat bill will require that earmarks be identified within the bill.

Oh, wait, that’s what the garbage Republican bill did.

Nevermind ... the Democrats can do it better.

If I’m "funny" you’re hilarious.
Pelosi said "the rules change would not reduce a single earmark or save a single dollar"
Heh ... and her idea will?

How?

The point of the bill was to make transparent those who were earmarking funds in bills which really had little to do with the intent of the bill. It did that. Tell me where the Republican version failed and Ms. Nancy’s will be superior? And further, tell us how she will actually stop earmarking and actually save a dollar.

Or you can be honest and simply fess up to the fact that Ms. "bi-partisan" Pelosi voted against it because it wasn’t her idea and it might make the Republicans look good.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
The temporary earmark reform bill that was passed was considered inadequate and far too limited. It exempted many earmarks and left plenty of loopholes...in the brief period in which it existed. Pelosi, at that time, said that the bill was poor legislation and she supported more serious earmark reform and would work on it if they gained majority. She seems to be keeping her word.

I’m not at all convinced that the last minute, temporary GOP bill represented anything but political cover. It’s hard to see why they did something so narrow and so brief.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://QandO.net
Now that that 2% of the budget is gone, now what? I’ll tell you what, let the Earmarks grow at 1.5 % per year, as a proportion of the budget, but let the Federal Budget grow at 1-2% less than Real GDP growth and I’d take that deal. Let earmarks GROW as a proportion of the budget, so long as the budget itself SHRANK as a proportion of GDP.
Joe,

I think I said the same thing at my place. Pork is more important than that however, because as Bradford Plumer pointed out awhile back, pork is what greases the wheel of the nanny state.

Jon,

Narrow or not, it was a step forward and did nothing to harm more substantial reform. I hope you are right about Pelosi’s intent, but there was no good excuse for not passing the initial bill.
 
Written By: Lance
URL: www.asecondhandconjecture.com
Or you can be honest and simply fess up to the fact that Ms. "bi-partisan" Pelosi voted against it because it wasn’t her idea and it might make the Republicans look good.
Q, the Republican bill passed, it will die shortly, do the Republicans look good for pass a nothing bill that will evaporate faster than their power in Congress?

Maybe YOU could be honest and admit that after 12 years of NOT keeping this promise, this is nothing more than a big fat case of too little, too late?

I’ll tell you what, if the Pelosi bill is not better than this one, we can revisit this and I’ll call her a hypocrit.

And if it is more substantial than the Republican bill, you can invent some other reason why Pelosi is wrong and the Republicans are right.

Money for projects in specific areas around the country don’t necessarily need to disappear, but I would like to see them be voted on on their own merits rather that tucked into other bills, with our without the sponsors name.

Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Hey, I can’t wait until the Dems pass their version of all the good GOP ideas, and everyone will tell me how these new bills are so much better for this or that reason.

For example, I’d guess we get SS reform very close to Bush’s ideas...except it’ll have to wait until the president is the "right party" first.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
For example, I’d guess we get SS reform very close to Bush’s ideas...except it’ll have to wait until the president is the "right party" first.
You may very well be right here. I opposed the President’s efforts on SS, but I agreed in general on the need for private accounts, but my awareness of our currents President’s penchant for creating massive profits for private industry inside his social programs made me suspect of the final form of his policy ideas.

The medicare bill is an example of a back door social program, the back door is where they shovel the cash to pharmaceutical companies.

So yes, similar ideas to the President’s are acceptable, but the devil is in the details.

Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Maybe YOU could be honest and admit that after 12 years of NOT keeping this promise, this is nothing more than a big fat case of too little, too late?
Actually Cap, I watched, listened in on conference calls, wrote about it and in my own way helped pressure some sort of reform. And, finally, something happened.

Now you can pretend it is all ’garbage’ and that it means nothing and only Pelosi, who I again remind you voted against it, can solve the problem. But the key word is pretend. How this came about is how such things should work. Pressure from constituencies who have an interest in ethical and transparent government.

The same thing is being done this week with bloggers participating in conference calls with the soon to be minority House leadership. Yesterday was Roy Blunt and he was asked pretty blunt questions. Those will be highlighted on blogs such as here. That’s the point, isn’t it?

So you and Joe can sit back and carp about libertarians and Republicans all you wish, but the fact remains there has been some movement and some change because of these sorts of efforts.

As I said, it may not have been everything you wanted or even I wanted but to go on with this crap that "they did nothing" is simply not true, you know it, I know it and others now know it.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
but the fact remains there has been some movement and some change because of these sorts of efforts.
A law that exists for a moment in time is some change, enough to get you to think you did something, but no more.
that "they did nothing" is simply not true
I NEVER said they did nothing, I said it was a "nothing bill" and you can’t deny that a bill that expires in months is anything but a nothing bill.

In fact, I said that they did SOMETHING but after 12 years in power, it was too little, too late.

This bill should have been voted down in favor of real law or no law, and no one should have supported this fake bill that did nothing more than allow some lawmakers to SAY they did something without actually changing anything for more than a couple of months.

I have a question for you Q, did you know this bill had an immediate sunset? I am guessing you didn’t, and if I were you and pushed for change and got this, I’d be pissed. But no, defending it instead.

Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://

 
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