Earmarks are supposed to be included in the text of legislation. Instead, the Members have "airdropped," in Beltway parlance, a huge number of them into the conference report that accompanies the bill. And, to ensure that the money is spent on these dark-of-night additions, the Members have included language insisting that federal agencies do so.Perhaps it would be less noticed if they did it in the daylight? No?
Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats rode to the majority in 2006 in part on their pledge to reform runaway earmarking. They've since backtracked, instituting weak rules on transparency, and refusing a challenge to join Republicans in a one-year earmark moratorium.(The Renaissance Biologist checks her watch and sips from a water bottle.) Now, what was that you were saying about McCain being too liberal to elect? When I last checked, his earmark total was nonexistent.