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GOP - Uh, about those earmarks, not so fast ...
Posted by: McQ on Saturday, May 03, 2008

Talking the talk, but, as usual, not walking the walk:
A recent secret survey of the House Republican minority by the party's whip organization showed a two-to-one margin opposed to imposing a moratorium on earmarks.

House Republican John Boehner, who personally sponsors no earmarks, has indicated the party's position should be based on what GOP House members want. That led to the whip check.

Reformers had contemplated calling for a vote on earmarks by a closed-door session of the House Republican Conference, assuming it would be difficult for many members to vote no. But the lopsided outcome of the whip check dissuaded reformers from requesting a vote.
Democrats aren't the only political pigs at the earmark trough and the majority of Congresspersons wants nothing to do with doing away with this lucrative patronage pay-off system. I mean, if you do away with earmarks, what advantage does an incumbent have?
 
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The lure of earmarks (or plus ups) is jobs. A Congressman who stands up on stage before a 1,000 factory workers and hands a giant check to the CEO will have 1,000 votes. All he had to do was sign a letter to the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee. Those executives standing beside him will back him with their own contributions and their PAC money. Earmarks are addictive. I know. I have actually given the fifty advocacy briefings and personally written the "language" that protects the funding from being spent elsewhere.

Not all earmarks are bad. The military may have a need for technology that did not exist or that fills a unique void of which they were not aware when the requirements/budgeting cycle ran its course. Planning is never perfect.

The military is partially responsible. If they know that a company will push plus ups through Congress for their goods and services, they give those products less priority than other items which, without Congressional action, would fall below the line. Never have I proceeded with an add without prior approval from the building. If the service protests or if the earmark results in a cut some where else, I immediately withdraw support and kill the program.

Congress works through a never ending series of compromises. Supporting or opposing earmarks is just a visible sign of what goes on in American politics.
 
Written By: Arch
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