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Checking in on our "open and honest" Congress
Posted by: McQ on Monday, May 21, 2007

You remember this, I'm sure:
Incoming House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat, told reporters that Democrats would move quickly on rules changes.

"On Thursday and Friday, we're going to adopt rules that will change the way the people's House operates to ensure its integrity, to ensure its openness and to ensure its transparency," Hoyer said Wednesday.

Tighter restrictions on spending earmarks, lobbying, gifts and travel will be proposed, Democratic House leaders said.
Yes, indeed, in the afterglow of an electoral win which put Democrats in charge of Congress, the promises, as usual were fast and furious:
Pelosi then moved on to promote her party's agenda.

She urged Congress to hit the ground running and pass legislation quickly to ensure it will be the "most honest and open Congress in history."
Yes, dear friend, sit back, relax, the "culture of corruption" is gone and the era of the open and honest Congress with tighter restrictions of spending earmarks is upon us.

Well, for a week or two at least. But certainly not lately:
Dramatic increases in earmarks — pet projects quietly slipped into spending bills — figured prominently in Republican scandals that helped Democrats win control of Congress last year. But with Democrats now in charge, the practice is still thriving.

A bill the Senate approved last week to authorize water projects contains 446 earmarks, and the House version has 692.
Who knew that all the Democrats were doing was changing the name of what was once called the "culture of corruption" to "an open and honest Congress".

But, you say, is it really worse? Uh, yeah:
The Senate bill, with its 446 projects, has more earmarks than a version drafted last year when Republicans were in charge. That bill had 272.
Either way, the earmarks were too much, but it seems that, as usual, the fine sounding rhetoric had little to do with the plans or reality of what Democrats planned to do.
"Meet the new boss, same as the old boss," grumbled Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.)
Heh ... yeah, there's a surprise. Thank goodness we finally have an "open and honest" Congress which is focused on improving the integrity of the institution, right? Another political promise fulfilled.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Clearly, what Congress need to do is just codify all their current practices into the OHCA of 2007, the Open and Honest Congress Act of 2007, which like all recent bills, will of do the exact opposite of the name of the bill. Then they can just say, "Well, we passed the Open and Honest Congress Act, what more do you want?"
Written By: Jeremy Bowers
So apparently not enough people give a sh*t about what Congress does, which may have something to do with the fact that not enough people are paying anything for what Congress does.
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
Perhaps Hoyer meant ’integrity’ in the sense of ’the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished’ — at least as far as the profligacy of their spending is concerned.
Written By: Achillea
URL: http://
"Meet the new boss, same as the old boss,"

Except according to Democrats and the Media, when it Republicans in charge, this was going to be the end the World. Now its c’est la vie.
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
So, to all these benefits of "mixed government", we add ’openess and honesty’.

Written By: Bithead
URL: http://
So, to all these benefits of "mixed government", we add ’openess and honesty’.

No Bit, as actually noted, there’s been no change.
Written By: McQ
The good news is the Republicans can run against this.

The bad news is the Republicans were as bad when they were in charge.

The really bad news is that one of these unacceptable choices is going to win.
Written By: MarkD
URL: http://
heh - they’re going to try and charge fightin Jack Murtha with ethics violations for his earmarks.

Written By: looker
URL: http://

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