- Edge in Democrat-leaning Americans not enough to make up for GOP turnout: poll
- London mayor flies Palestinian flag at town hall to support Gaza
- U.N. condemns Israel, U.S. for not sharing Iron Dome with Hamas
- Eric Cantor says he’ll resign on Aug. 18
- Ted Nugent slams ‘lying freaks’ at liberal media: I’m ‘doing God’s work’
- Joe Biden’s secret love: Skinny-dipping, Secret Service agents say
- Just-forged Israel-Hamas cease-fire ends in rocket fire
- Obama military downsizing leaves U.S. too weak to counter global threats, panel finds
- Sen. Tom Coburn vows to slow down budget-busting bills ahead of recess
- Obama fantasizes about more executive power, signs new order on federal contractors
Both parties recognize the Democrats' scam
Topic - Steve Ellis
The Senate's emergency spending bill to cover costs from Hurricane Sandy includes millions of dollars that will never touch the affected Northeast — including money for salmon fisheries in Alaska, cash for an expansion of train service into New York, and funds to preserve and repair historic properties.
A key aide to D.C. politicians recently earned more than $200,000 working as chief of staff in a city agency in charge of rebuilding city schools, but he wasn't on the government's payroll. Instead, he was hired through a nearly quarter-million-dollar no-bid contract.
Capitol Hill insiders say at least 75 percent of lawmakers privately still think earmarking is a correct and proper use of congressional authority. Yet last week, one of the Senate's champion earmarkers, Sen. Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii, hammered home the nail that officially ended the practice — at least for the time being.
Newly emboldened earmark foes are calling on President Obama to back up his opposition to pork-barrel spending with action.
The first spending bill to begin moving through Congress since House Republicans pledged to forgo earmarks shows the vow is working: The bill contains nearly 50 percent less in pork-barrel spending than last year's version.
The U.S. Postal Service's president of shipping signed off on a no-bid, $4 million consulting contract to a firm partly because it employed a former associate from his days as an executive at pickle producer Vlasic Foods and lawn care giant Scotts Miracle-Gro, records show.
"Essentially, the vacuum that was created by virtually no Republican earmarks wasn't backfilled by more Democratic earmarks, and in fact, Democrats actually took less than they did last year," said Steve Ellis, vice president at Taxpayers for Common Sense, a watchdog group. "There is a fear of overstepping the earmarking bounds, and also a commitment to at least further whittling away at earmark levels."
Mr. Ellis, the earmark watchdog, said all eyes will be on Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, Hawaii Democrat and the Senate spending committee chairman, to see if he allows a dramatic increase in earmarks to make up for the drop in House Republicans' earmarks.