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Obama to Unveil Earmark Reform, Sign Earmark-Filled Omnibus

By Ben Pershing
President Obama will make "an announcement about earmark reform" later this morning, according to the White House, less than 24 hours after the Senate cleared for his signature a $410 billion omnibus bill packed full of earmarks.

The timing is deliberate, but striking all the same. The effect will be to suggest that Obama is holding his nose to sign the omnibus bill, even though it was written by his own party and his administration made almost no effort to change it during the legislative process. Obama is not new to the subject of earmark reform. Exactly one year ago yesterday, the then-Senator and candidate from Illinois signed on to a proposal to impose a one-year moratorium on earmarks. That went nowhere, and it's unclear whether Obama's new, as-yet-undisclosed plan will have any better prospects, given that most Democratic lawmakers (and, privately, many Republican lawmakers) believe earmarks are a valid and important congressional prerogative.

Obama also needs not to alienate any members of his own party unnecessarily, since, as Reuters writes, the surprisingly difficult path to passage for the omnibus bill does not bode well for the Senate prospects of the president's budget. Susan Collins predicts "big trouble" for the spending blueprint, and Kent Conrad, the Budget Committee chairman, said flat-out Tuesday that the bill doesn't have the votes to pass right now. And the president will certainly need extra political momentum if he wants to move a second stimulus bill, which the Appropriations panel will soon begin drafting.

Continue reading at Political Browser »

By Ben Pershing  |  March 11, 2009; 8:15 AM ET
Categories:  The Rundown  
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If anyone (who actually answers my question) wants to discuss anything, let me know.

Posted by: JakeD | March 12, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

"Reagan and both Bushes criticized earmarks"

And did they get rid of them?

"based on his campaign promise, a President McCain would have vetoed these earmarks"

What, like "Reagan and both Bushes" did?

Are you that gullible, or are you just cynical enough to think people will believe such transparent nonsense?

Posted by: nodebris | March 12, 2009 12:29 AM | Report abuse

"I am registered Independent (but even I can admit that McCain would have vetoed these earmarks)."

When you make a point of stating that you are an Independent, knowing how most people understand the word, without specifying that you belong to an extreme right-wing party, you are indeed misrepresenting yourself as a moderate or swing voter.

"Even I can admit." Even you? A wingnut prefers sides with the Republican over the Democrat. How very compelling.

You hardly seem proud of your conservatism when you intentionally hide it.

Alan Keyes. Birth Certificate. Barack HUSSEIN Obama. Very "Independent," you are. "Even I." Give me a break.

Posted by: nodebris | March 12, 2009 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Reagan and both Bushes criticized earmarks -- based on his campaign promise, a President McCain would have vetoed these earmarks -- he would have cut military waste on Day One. Next canard?

Posted by: JakeD | March 11, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Correction, I said 20 times over, I should have said nearly 6 times over.

Posted by: JRM2 | March 11, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

It amazes me how most of you are just sh!!!ng in your pants over what really amounts to chump-change in the grand scheme of things.

Who of you truly believes earmarks are what have put America in it's current position?

The bill was crafted and already delayed once long before Obama even took office. Rather than shut down the government and alienate congress he signed the dang thing.

Heck, last week he found a way to cut wasteful spending in military contracting that would pay for these earmarks more than 20 times over, any of you genius critics out there got anything to say about that?

How many past President's have made public statements about reforming the earmark process as a way of moving forward?


Quit your crying and look at the bigger picture, or do you just need something to criticize?

Posted by: JRM2 | March 11, 2009 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Yes, let's focus in on 2% of the budget. Just because a project is labeled an "earmark" does not mean it is wasteful spending.

Critics like to point out silly titles to mock them (like X amount of dollars for Mormon cricket control) in hopes the public won't look deep enough to realize that in this case, controlling the Mormon cricket means multi-millions of dollars to the agricultural industry.

Posted by: JRM2 | March 11, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

32 Republican Senators (including McCain) voted against the earmarks.

Posted by: JakeD | March 11, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

For the record, I have never stated or implied that I am "moderate". I am indeed CONSERVATIVE. If anyone else wants to discuss the thread topic now, please let me know.

Posted by: JakeD | March 11, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

JakeD likes to hind behind an intentional misrepresentation of himself as a moderate, knowing that most people take "registered Independent" to mean "unaffiliated with any political party and potentially voting for either."

In fact, he means that he is a registered member of the far-right American Independent Party.

Posted by: nodebris | March 11, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Jake, In my mind he is just another professional's time for him to back up what he said....he isn't.

Before you defend Mr. McCain, I would check to see if any of the earmarks are his. I see him and Mr. O'Bama as two from the same mold......Washington insiders who take care of the same people --- the richest one or two percent.

Posted by: Tawodi | March 11, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse


I am registered Independent (but even I can admit that McCain would have vetoed these earmarks).


That did not answer my question about how long you will continue to give Obama the benefit of the doubt.

Posted by: JakeD | March 11, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I have no doubts that none of them would have done squat. I teach young people to respect the system, and then I have to show them what the real world looks like.
Don't put me in the McCain camp just because I criticized the uncriticizable O'Bama. I actually voted for a third party candidate, because I think both parties are taking us down the same path. President Washington warned us, but it took two hundred years for the evidence to become conclusive. The two party system does not work. Only independent thinkers will ever improve the system. Wouldn't it be great to have a third party setting between these two that represent the 70-80% of ordinary middle of the road citizens?
Every O'Bama statement lately smacks of business as usual in Washington. "Change", gee it lasted how long?

Posted by: Tawodi | March 11, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Now it makes sense why all the pork was added to the stimulus and the omnbus bill. Now, the Preident is going to disclose earmarks,after billions and billions of dollars have been cleared.For one who campaigned on transparencey he falls short of his promices,but than again I am sure the MSM will find a way to make it all seem like wine and roses.Also I believe it has been reported that things are said when running for office that don't always ring true, but it is okey because they are running for the office.

Posted by: yvonnewittig | March 11, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse


Your comment got to me, more than any of the other psy ops, because it is a valid question.
Congrats for "penetrating the membrane." (Only the DEW gets through, not the psy ops.)

To answer to your question:

I have alerted Rahm Emanuel to the DEW/EMF issue as regards POTUS, family and staff.

I am hopeful that he has consulted his contacts and is taking an independent reading of the situation.

Maybe when what could be "stray" EMF is remediated, POTUS will be more clear-headed, and skeptical about what crosses his desk.

Since you seem so interested in what I think, here's a link to recent political blog posts that have been subject to apparent prior restraint, if not outright censorship, by "gatekeepers" who persist in violating my constitutional rights:

Posted by: scrivener50 | March 11, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse


Is there any doubt that President McCain would have vetoed this because of all the earmarks? He also promised to completely stop Signing Statements. Buyers' Remorse anyone?

Posted by: JakeD | March 11, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

It's a real pity that Republicans didn't deal with the issue of earmarks when they had control of the presidency, both houses of Congress, and the Supreme Court. In fact, I don't remember them even talking about it back then. Hmm.

Just another brewing disaster that sailed by under their noses, I guess.

Posted by: nodebris | March 11, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

The opportunity to meet an issue head on and deal with it is obviously not Mr. O'Bama's way. Quit the rhetoric. Be honest. Either veto this bill, or just say, "I lied about dealing with earmarks."

Action is too late for rhetoric. Either put up or shut up.

Posted by: Tawodi | March 11, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Inside Murtha's 'earmark factory'.

Chronicles how Murtha directed the head of a Pennsylvania university research center to direct business to specific companies and exclude those not playing ball with him. Research center head actually had an office at PMA so they could better coordinate their earmark decisions. When the Murtha manure hits the fan, this is going to be huge.

Posted by: BothSides | March 11, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse


How long are you going to give Obama the benefit of the doubt.

Posted by: JakeD | March 11, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse


cc: VP Joe Biden; DHS Sec. Janet Napolitano; Defense Sec. Robert Gates; Sec. of State Hillary R. Clinton; CIA Dir. Leon Panetta; FBI Dir. Robert Mueller; Secret Service Dir. Mark Sullivan



Seattle Police Chief Kerlikowske, the drug czar designate, knows from the inside how community policing programs funded by FEMA, DOJ and other agencies were transmogrified by secretive Bush administration ideologues in security, law enforcement and intel agencies into a constitutionally-exempt citizen vigilante army... "American Gestapo" that has usurped local law enforcement and has violated civil and human rights of U.S. citizens "targeted" by federal security and intelligence agencies as "undesirables," "dissidents," or "mental defectives."

Obama officials and Congress should quiz Kerlikowske on what he knows about the following human and civil rights abuses that have been reported by victims of this officially-sanctioned vigilantism -- deemed legal by the now-discredited Bush DOJ "torture memos":

* Silent, covert microwave radiation weapons assaults on innocent but "targeted" U.S. citizens;

* Terroristic vigilante community gang stalking, surreptitious home entry, police-tolerated vandalism;

* Secret federal "programs of personal financial destruction" that have politicized the IRS, which victims say has been used as a tool of "social cleansing."



Now you have on your team an official who can tell you the WHOLE truth -- so you can compare his account with what you have been told by your Bush holdovers.


FOR MORE on the ongoing extrajudicial punishment network:

OR (if links are corrupted / disabled):

Posted by: scrivener50 | March 11, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse


If that's the goal, why not cut out the middleman and give every American a 6 month tax holiday?

Posted by: JakeD | March 11, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I bothered to read all the earmarks and was as angry as everyone else. So I went to the WH website to vent my anger and as I was writing, an epifany - what better way for Pres. Obama to add more money into the economy that to allow this bill to go forth. Yes, some may be wasted, but it was probably an easier pill to swallow as it did not have his name all over it. So there is the Recovery and Reinvestment Act and now this, almost 1/2 billion more dollars into the economy.
All in all, pretty clever...yes a little wasteful, but now he just wants dollars out of Washington and into the public domain!

Posted by: axf56730 | March 11, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: JakeD | March 11, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Listen to my pretty words, which sound oh-so-sincere, but pay no attention to my actual deeds and record, thin as it is. If Obama were a Republican, the media would be flaying him to his bones, but instead he just waltzes along. Amazing.

Posted by: CareerSoldier | March 11, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

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