This CNN story tells us that, though Obama will sign the omnibus spending bill that recently passed the Senate with about 9,000 earmarks…
…the president will lay out the new guidelines on earmarks as a not-so-subtle threat that he could veto future spending bills that do not comply with his objectives.
Obama may sign the bill into law behind closed doors rather than make a public show of it, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said.
“Although it’s not perfect, the president will sign the legislation but demonstrate for all involved rules moving forward that he thinks can make this process work a little bit better,” Gibbs said at his daily briefing with reporters.
White House officials have tried to dismiss the pork-laden legislation as “last year’s business” that Obama is dealing with reluctantly.
Gibbs added that “over the course of the president’s tenure in Washington, dozens of those bills will come to his desk” and Obama wants to make clear “that there will be some new rules of the road” for lawmakers to follow.
As I’ve said before, I really don’t have a problem with earmarks provided that they’re disclosed (and the Bucks County Courier Times tells us here that Reps. Patrick Murphy and Allyson Schwartz will bring about $30 million of earmarked funding back to their respective congressional districts).
However, Obama has clearly signaled that he wants the guidelines on obtaining earmarked funding to change, which is his right as far as I’m concerned.
Of course, that’s not going to quell the umbrage in the ranks (back to the CNN story)…
Top Democrats, including House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland, have suggested lawmakers do not appreciate being dictated to on an issue that is a congressional prerogative.
Asked last week about the administration’s plan to put forth guidelines to overhaul earmarks, Hoyer said flatly, “I don’t think the White House has the ability to tell us what to do.”
He paused and quipped to reporters, “I hope you all got that down.”
(And of course, the story contains the typical “Repugs trying to make an issue out of nothing because they have no clue” whining about Obama supposedly going back on his earmark pledge, with Eric Cantor and John Boehner passing out the crying towels, as it were.)
I realize that Hoyer, a fixture in the House for 28 years now and a prolific fundraiser (how do you think he’s been able to last for so long?) isn’t going to care about what I have to say (also because he’s not my rep – Patrick Murphy is), but I’m going to say it anyway.
Hoyer embodies much of what I truly detest about politics, including the Democratic Party (yes, I support them on balance, but that doesn’t mean I like everything they do, which I most certainly don’t).
As noted here, Hoyer flipped out at fellow Dem House Rep Jim Moran for the latter’s statements against AIPAC, including the entirely accurate observation by Moran that “AIPAC has not represented mainstream American Jewish opinion and…the organization’s Middle East policies, while in direct alignment with the Bush administration, have been counterproductive to Israel’s long-term security” (and by the way, no one solicited Hoyer’s opinion – he slammed Moran on his own).
Hoyer also helped the Repugs here with their little faux outrage party about Rep. Pete Stark’s criticism over the Republicans’ blockage of the SCHIP bill in October 2007 (making Stark the issue instead of pointing out that Stark was correct in noting that nonstop funding of Dubya’s Not-So-Excellent Iraq Adventure was somehow “off the table” but SCHIP was something for the chopping block…Stark used indelicate language, sure, but he made a good point).
And just for good measure, Hoyer ensured retroactive telco immunity in the FISA sellout from last June (here).
So what does Hoyer have to say about the Repugs? Well, as noted here…
Outgoing President George W. Bush’s greatest success in eight years was protecting America from any further terrorist attacks since 9/11, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told CNSNews.com on Monday.
Uh, Steny, I have a question – is Rush Holt apparently the only member of Congress who remembers the GODDAMN ANTHRAX ATTACK, which took place about four weeks after 9/11? Perhaps this will refresh your memory.
Oh, and did you know that Hoyer’s AmeriPAC actually donated $10,000 to Republican Kay Granger of Texas, in the course of helping many Dems including Patrick Murphy, as noted here (h/t Down With Tyranny)? Anybody have any idea of how that happened?
Though I’m sure Hoyer will never read this, I would like to remind him anyway that the voters of this country didn’t elect him to the Presidency last November; they elected Barack Obama (who, last I checked, still enjoyed a favorability rating in the high 60s, more than twice that of Congressional democrats). Maybe Hoyer doesn’t think Obama can “tell him what to do” (interesting to see Steny’s display of fortitude now that a Dem is finally running the executive branch), but the voters tell every politician what to do (or should anyway), including him (something Hoyer seems to have forgotten, which I guess will happen considering that Hoyer was sent to D.C. along with The Sainted Ronnie R way back when). And what I believe the voters are telling Hoyer, along with the rest of Congress, is to shut up and toe the line for the new president, who deserves the same chance to be successful as the one you gave his predecessor, who ended up being hopelessly overmatched because he was never equipped for the job to begin with.
And I hope Hoyer got that down.