Obama likely to sign earmark-filled spending bill, Gibbs says
By Scott Wilson
Despite its thousands of earmarks, President Obama will probably sign the $447 billion omnibus spending bill passed by the Democratic-controlled Senate over the weekend, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday.
Obama has criticized earmarks -- specific spending items inserted by individual lawmakers -- as a candidate and as president. The omnibus bill contains more than 5,000 of them, although Gibbs said there were 15 percent fewer than in the last such spending measure.
Republican lawmakers are calling the bill an example of wasteful government spending, an issue that polls show is a political vulnerability for Democrats heading into a midterm election year.
Asked if Obama will veto the measure, Gibbs said he had not spoken to the president about it. But he added that "the likelihood is that keeping the government running is an important thing."
"The number of earmarks is down. We've made progress on that," Gibbs told reporters at his daily White House briefing. "There's no doubt we still have got a long way to go. But I think one of the goals obviously is to keep the government functioning right now."
Washington Post Editor
December 14, 2009; 3:42 PM ET
Categories: 44 The Obama Presidency , Earmarks
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