It is simply safe to say that a leopard cannot change its spots. Furthermore, so don’t even try.
As it turns out, those hypocrites who promised “no more earmarks” didn’t last long, or better yet, these aren’t earmarks they’re just paybacks.
“Several lawmakers who pledged to abstain from earmarks on appropriations bills will request projects in the highway bill, but they maintain they are staying true to their promise because the requests are not regular earmarks.
Unlike the annual appropriations spending bills, the highway reauthorization bill comes up for consideration only every five years, increasing the pressure on Members to reserve funds for their states.”
Every five years? Well, we would not want to pass up a good crisis or better yet, a great opportunity, but does that make it right?
”Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.), a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, explained there was a different vetting and allocation process for highway requests.
’We’ve paid into the [Highway Trust Fund]. … That money is coming back to the state,’ he said. ‘to me, that’s totally different’from an appropriations request.
He added that his office made it clear in his statement that he was rejecting appropriations earmarks, not all projects for his district.
Westmoreland isn’t the only lawmaker faced with the dilemma of forsaking some earmarks and requesting others.
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) will also submit requests, according to her spokeswoman.
`Congresswoman Bachmann will submit five requests to the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee,’Bachmann spokeswoman Debbee Keller said. ‘The authorization process is the appropriate venue for addressing local transportation needs since it adheres to strict oversight and accountability standards designed to ensure transparency and public scrutiny over every project at local, state and federal levels — standards that are lacking in the corrupt and broken appropriations earmarking process.”