The Washington Times - December 16, 2010, 05:00PM

Earmarking practices are far from gone on Capitol Hill despite the debate over the recent earmark ban proposal. The Wall Street Journal is reporting a particularly massive piece of pork that was first reported in a Missouri paper to be part of the omnibus package lawmakers are sparring about in Washington: 

The release of a database compiled by the anti-earmark group Taxpayers for Common Sense has drawn unwelcome attention for three Democratic lawmakers who don’t disclose on their websites the special projects for which they have sought federal funding.

The House Appropriations Committee has had a rule since January 2009 that lawmakers are supposed to explain the earmark’s purpose and “why it is a valuable use of taxpayer funds” on their websites.

For almost all the House members requesting earmarks for the 2011 fiscal year which began Oct. 1, that means posting a list of all the earmarks they’ve sought. (Five Democrats and almost all House Republicans did not request any earmarks this year.)

But three House Democrats — Rep. Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri, Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio, and Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick of Michigan — instead posted details of all the earmarks requested by constitutents, but didn’t say which ones they actually sought.

That’s had some bizarre consequences, especially for Mr. Cleaver, who had been asked to help secure a $48 billion (yes, billion) grant for a proposed urban reclamation project for poor neighborhoods. The request was noted on the final page of an earmark spreadsheet on Mr. Cleaver’s website.


It should be noted that the earlier media report about the $48 billion request had been described as something Mr. Cleaver proposed, but his office denied that the Congressman actually made this proposal.

Regardless of voter will that such spending should not be part of the spending bill, lawmakers continue to feel the need to get in some last licks before this session in Congress ends.

Watch for a mighty debate over the massive spending package some are calling a “crominibus.” Democrats are rolling the dice over this bill, while Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell pushes for a continuing resolution that would fund the government temporarily until February.