Tag Archives: earmarks

House Democrats May Ban Earmarks

In a possible strategic move to regain the “ethical high ground,” House Democratic leaders are floating the idea of a party-wide ban on earmarks for the remainder of the year. The idea was mentioned by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, but would most likely face resistance from those who use earmarks as a way to send placating pork back home in a tough year for incumbents. But scrapping them now might be a strategic coup, as gridlock in the Senate means House spending bills could get tied up there, and their earmarks could get cut anyway. The decision to proceed with this strategy would have to come soon as earmark requests are due to the Appropriations panel by March 19. Nearly 9,500 earmarks worth $15.9 billion have already been secured by both parties in this fiscal year alone.

Read it at Roll Call.

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Filed under Democratic Party, Economics, Elections, Playing Politics

Excessive blocking by Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL)

Maybe it’s time to revisit the Senate’s arcane rules, which allow any individual senator to block any presidential appointee on a whim. With dozens of government posts still unfilled, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) is reportedly throwing a historically unprecedented temper tantrum by placing a hold on at least 70 presidentially nominated jobs. Shelby’s office will not talk to reporters about the reported move, which can be undertaken anonymously, but according to Congress Daily the lawmaker has clashed with the White House over a $40 billion military contract whose recipient is threatening to scrap a planned factory in Mobile, Alabama. Holds force the Senate to break a filibuster, which requires 60 votes and can slow Congressional business to a crawl even if the vote succeeds.

Read it here.

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Filed under Republicans, Wingnuts!