by fnord |
March 8, 2010 · 9:31 pm
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.
by fnord |
February 21, 2010 · 10:00 am
President Obama left his signature domestic policy in the hands of Congress, and now he is facing the consequences. From the outset of his presidency, Obama invited Congress to devise the details of health care reform legislation — an apparent bid to avoid what happened when President Clinton tried to overhaul health care 17 years ago.
Leaving it to Congress put an unusually glaring spotlight on how Capitol Hill does business. The spectacle of Congress’ horse-trading, secrecy and gridlock has fueled today’s virulent anti-Washington mood. The public’s reaction was all the greater because Obama had campaigned on a promise to change the way Washington did business, and because health care reform engendered such personal high hopes and anxiety. Continue reading →