Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Democratic Earmark Reform Charade

Mark Tapscott describes the Democrats' latest efforts to protect their precious earmarks.

Some of my Senate sources have gotten a copy of the 107 page "ethics and earmark reform" bill crafted by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi... [they] are for the most gutting concrete earmark and ethics reform while preserving just enough of the appearance of reform to be able to claim to have fulfilled their 2006 campaign promises... Put another way - it's all a charade.

...Sen. Tom Coburn's staff has gone through the Reid/Pelosi text and compared it to the previously approved earmark reform bill adopted unanimously by the Senate in January. They put the results of their examination in a handy chart:

ProvisionSenate-passed BillNew Bill
Prohibits Senators from trading earmarks for votesYesNo
Prohibits Senators and staff from promoting earmarks from which they or their families would receive a direct financial benefitYesNo
Allows the Senate parliamentarian, not the Majority Leader, to determine if a bill complies with earmark disclosure rulesYesNo
Prohibits consideration of bills, joint resolutions, or conference reports if earmarks are not disclosedYesNo
Requires earmarks attached to a conference report to be publicly available on the Internet in a searchable format 48 hours before considerationYesNo
Requires 67 votes to suspend the earmark disclosure ruleYesNo
Requires a full day's notice prior to attempting to suspend the earmark disclosure ruleYesNo
Requires all earmark certifications from Senators to be posted on the Internet within 48 hoursYesNo

It's a good thing the Democrats have eradicated the "culture of corruption". Problem is, they've only eradicated the phrase from their lexicon. In the mean time, Alan 'Instant Millionaire' Mollohan, Jack 'The Earmark King' Murtha, and William 'Freezer Burn' Jefferson continue to serve in the oh-so-proud Democratic Congress.

If their culture gets any more corrupt, the Democrats will be wearing sandwich boards with the going prices for votes listed.

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