In the earmark wars, this week will see something of a showdown on the Senate floor...an amendment to require that any earmarked spending project for 2009 get a two-thirds vote to go forward. (Now we're getting somewhere! Just like other laws!)
John McCain thinks the vote is important enough that he's returning from the campaign trail to vote for the measure. "I absolutely support the amendment to abolish [earmarks] altogether," he says, building on his campaign pledge to veto any bill with earmarks if he becomes President. (Many candidates have promised that, but few have delivered. McCain has an excellent track record, though, on that issue.)
In a sign of where the politics is moving on earmarks, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton announced yesterday that they'll sign on as 11th-hour cosponsors. (Hmm.) It appears they have suddenly found religion on the issue, because both sponsored a hefty number of earmarks in 2008. (See nearby table.) (Data on the table: Clinton wanted 212 earmarks for $266 mil.; Obama wanted 53 for $126M; McCain? 0 for $0. Whaddaya know!)
...We look forward to counting the public roll.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
McCain's freshly scrubbed ears, part 2
Here is a short, sharp op-ed concerning earmark amounts among the three principal presidential candidates (my post about a previous op-ed about this here). Though this is probably old news to those who keep up with this sort of thing, here are excerpts with my comments.