June 14, 2007

Boehner Beats Pelosi On Earmarks CRAPs

John Boehner and the House Republican Caucus have won their battle against Nancy Pelosi and David Obey on earmarks. Boehner sent the following memo to House Republicans:

I’m writing to update you on the status of our united Republican effort to compel the Democratic majority to abandon its plan for slush funds for secret earmarks.

A tentative agreement has been reached between Republican and Democratic leaders – an agreement that represents a victory for House Republicans. The terms of the agreement are as follows:

* Democrats will abandon their plans to pass appropriations bills with slush funds for secret earmarks. The plan announced last month by Chairman Obey to keep all earmarks secret until “air-dropping” them into conference reports will be dropped, effective immediately. Two appropriations bills (Homeland Security, Military Quality) that include little or no earmarks will move forward. Following consideration of these two bills, all 10 remaining appropriations bills will come to the floor with their earmarks fully disclosed and subject to challenge by any Member. In the unique case of the Energy & Water bill, the earmarks will move to the floor in a package separate from the non-earmark portion of the bill, but (again) the earmarks will be fully disclosed and subject to challenge by any Member. In short: the Democrats’ slush funds for secret earmarks are dead.

* Democrats will restore the 2006 House Republican earmark reforms for appropriations bills. This rules change will go into effect immediately after the House completes action on the Homeland Security and Military Quality appropriations bills, which include little or no earmarks. This aspect of the agreement will restore a key element of the 2006 GOP reforms repealed by the Democratic leadership in 2007.

The agreement does NOT include specific time limits on debate for any appropriations bills. Democrats earlier today demanded that Republicans accept unprecedented time limits that would arbitrarily minimize debate on spending bills involving hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer funds. House Republican leaders refused this demand. Instead, we indicated to Democratic leaders that if the earmark reforms outlined above are complied with both letter and spirit, and adequate time is provided to debate substantive issues, Republicans do not anticipate that we will need to engage in extraordinary parliamentary tactics that will again bring the appropriations process to a halt.

We’ll let you know more as we know it. In the meantime, please know how proud I am of our House Republican team. We've taken a principled stand together on behalf of the American people. And if we continue to stand together, we will succeed in bringing meaningful change to the way in which Washington spends the taxpayers' money. Thank you for the role you’ve played in making this victory happen.

I concur. Congratulations, Rep. Boehner and the entire House caucus.

UPDATE: Boehner has an op-ed in the Examiner here:

Then came a decision by Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, D-WI, to not only make all earmarks secret, but to replace them in Democratic spending bills with multi-billion dollar slush funds – blank spots to be filled in at a later date, all hidden from serious public scrutiny.

Obey planned to keep the earmark requests secret to allow himself more time to review them all personally – a bizarre process for the most "open" and "honest" Congress. Obey said he would eventually print each earmark request in the Congressional Record – but only after the House voted on its appropriations bills. Obey said lawmakers could write to him individually about specific projects and express their concerns… but that's not accountability; that's a complaints department.

Well, the Democrats certainly got the complaints ... Be sure to read the whole thing.


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Comments (17)

Posted by Georg Felis | June 14, 2007 8:58 PM

Gosh, if we Republicans keep doing things like this, the New York Times will *never* cover us.

Which is a good thing...

Posted by Carol Herman | June 14, 2007 9:10 PM

Hmm? So there's some new rules, rolling in, huh?

I guess the November 2006 election losses hurt enough that the lesson got home?

Sure. Nancy's rag is un-used. Clean as a whistle.

But unlike the days when the old media controlled, in the new world, even though the Net's sub-divided by groups. There seems to be one group that gets action.

While Harry Reid just has "popularity ratings droop."

Also, seems to be due to what carries the day on the Net.

Gives ya better endings than the Sopranos' got.

There was once a time, really not so very long ago, that IBM "hired ya" fer life.

Now? I think even seated critters in DC worry about what the public can do to them.

At least those who go and read the conservative blog sites! It's just an amazing thing when you register with about 30-million people!

The nutworks don't see numbers like that.

Great work, Captain!

Posted by TallDave | June 14, 2007 9:39 PM

Nice work. Kudos to everyone on the right who pressured Boehner. This is really something to be proud of.

This almost makes me think Republicans are more effective as a minority party.

It's too bad the netroots don't take this more seriously. Did this get any attention in the sinestrosphere?

Posted by brooklyn | June 14, 2007 10:12 PM

Hoorrayyyy !

some fine good news...

so thankful for this Republican Party and their fine efforts.

and the S Court rejected the Labor Unions desire to spend other people's money...

now let's win the GWOT, and defeat Hillary in 2008.

Posted by ManlyDad | June 14, 2007 10:23 PM

Is it just me, or do the Republicans govern stronger/better as the minority party in congress?

Posted by mullah cimoc | June 14, 2007 10:53 PM

mullah cimoc say aemriki society so destroying now. aztec and maya take back all land. this for punish ameriki for loving the torture and the kill.

whitie so disgrace. woman the slut with LBT (low back tattoo) while man him so feminize, must liking the pretty hair and paint fingernail.

Posted by Craig | June 14, 2007 10:53 PM

When you're willing to overlook your own party's corrupt practices from their days as the majority and nobody calls you out when you claim the moral high ground I'd say yeah, it's probably easier to govern as the minority party. You can get your victim complex groove going on real well for the next time you want to pretend the last 6 years of screwups was really the other party's fault...

This is a good effort on the part of Boehner and the GOP and I hope they're successful. If it weren't so blatantly self-serving and hypocritical in the face of recent history I might actually be impressed.

Posted by Craig | June 14, 2007 10:56 PM

WTF are you on mullah cimoc? I want some.

Posted by cliffhils | June 15, 2007 12:20 AM

"This almost makes me think Republicans are more effective as a minority party."

Woa, wait just a minute! Let's NOT go there again!

Posted by Cybrludite [TypeKey Profile Page] | June 15, 2007 4:57 AM

So, can we get them to do the same WRT shutting down the amnesty bill again?

Posted by docjim505 | June 15, 2007 5:37 AM

Color me cynical, but I smell a rat. Let's remember that GOP congressmen are just as addicted to earmarks as their dem counterparts. I'm glad that Boehner has apparently managed to stop SanFran Nan and Bagman Obey from doing even more to enable the Congress to raid the treasury, but you don't get something for nothing, ESPECIALLY in DC. What did Boehner agree to do in return for helping stop the dems' burgeoning PR disaster?

Posted by swabjockey05 | June 15, 2007 6:28 AM

Doc J,

It may not be what Boehner GOT for stopping the deal...I suspect it was more what he WOULDN'T have gotten if the deal went through...could it be that the way the new rules were written the Dhimms would have had disproportionate access to the slush fund…and the Repubs cut off the boondoggle gravy train?

Perhaps the Repubs who stopped it did so because it wouldn't have helped Republicans get THEIR grubby meat hooks into more of OUR money.

Posted by onlineanalyst | June 15, 2007 6:37 AM

Kudos to Rep. Boehner and his watchdogs for their insistence on transparency on earmarks. That said, we should keep in mind Reagan's caveat: Trust but verify. Docjim505 has a valid point.

Slipping under the radar while earmarks are the topic in the House and the re-resurrection of the Shamnesty bill is the topic of Prince-for-Life Kennedy's Senate, let's not lose sight of the horrific energy bill in legislative process over at the Senate.

The Senate is doing some serious mischief on behalf of the environment (???) through the machinations of the do-gooders who will have the unintended (???) consequences of undermining our economy.

Sen. Inhofe's well-thought-out amendment for energy independence and responsible stewardship was shot down by the Dems: http://public.cq.com/docs/cqm/cqmidday110-000002531090.html
Inhofe is no slouch in questioning the pseudo-science of environmental and climate change alarmists. He offered responsible solutions to our energy needs, and his efforts fell to partisan politics of the Chicken Little Dems. Read and weep.

Iain Murray at NRO's "The Corner" summarizes the horrific economic implications of the Dem's energy bill.
"I understand that after the immigration fiasco people might be too disgusted with our Congressional representatives to get angry about something else, but in my opinion they need to get angry about the Energy Bill currently before the Senate. The bloated, pork-laden Energy Bill of 2005 was supposed to deal with energy issues for the foreseeable future. No such luck. This Energy Bill, S.1419, is far, far worse. It will raise energy prices, raise food prices, increase hunger, worsen appliance performance, make the roads more dangerous and bring back Carter-era gas lines and shortages just when we need them the least - after disasters. It's a horrendous concoction of every bad energy idea imaginable and will impact every family trying to make ends meet around the country. It's unbelievably stupid in its rehashing of failed ideas and do-it-yourself economics. It needs to go down in flames, and soon. I'll have more detail on Planet Gore."

Murray's "Planet Gore" blog at NationalReview is a worthy link to peruse.

More detail from Murray with specifics in the energy bill are here: http://planetgore.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MDAyMmIwYzI2YTJlNjI5NDQ4NjMyY2RmNTlmODMzMGQ=

Do these idiots have any long-term, critical thinking skills? I am so tired of bandwagon politics that promise to sink us all into collectivist misery.

Posted by Rovin | June 15, 2007 6:53 AM

Color me cynical, but I smell a rat.

I agree with docjim505-----consessions had to have been made (backroom dealers anyone) Kinda like the rumors about Senators approving judicial appointments for votes to approve Immigration 2.0?

No wonder the electorate "trust" in our leadership is at an all time low.

Posted by BoWowBoy | June 15, 2007 8:09 AM

I can't wait to see what earmarks ................will result from the intense negotiations ............. to insure transparency in the "corrupted earmarked" budgeting process. RME's.

Posted by Lew | June 15, 2007 8:11 AM

Rovin and DocJim and Swabbie and the analyst are all dead right!

These guys are playing their own game for their own benefit and they really haven't figured out the ramifications of how naked they are these days. They still haven't figured out that we can see what they're doing, and they're still trying to play their game by the old rules just like they did in the good old days.

Boehner's deal looks great, but let's don't forget about the footnotes!

Posted by Project Vote Smart | June 15, 2007 2:55 PM

Representative John Boehner’s voting record on budget, spending, and taxes can be found at: http://www.votesmart.org/voting_category.php?can_id=27015&type=category&category=10&go.x=11&go.y=5

Representative John Boehner’s history of speeches on earmarks can be found at: http://www.votesmart.org/speech.php?keyword=earmarks&daterange=&begin=&end=&phrase=&contain=&without=&type=search&can_id=27015&go2.x=0&go2.y=0#Results

Representative John Boehner’s ratings from special interest groups on budget, spending, and taxes can be found at: http://www.votesmart.org/issue_rating_category.php?can_id=27015

For more information on Representative John Boehner’s position on budget, spending, and taxes please visit http://www.vote-smart.org or call our hotline at 1-888-VOTE-SMART.