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Posted at 6:56 AM ET, 01/27/2011

Harry Reid tells Obama he's 'wrong' on earmarks and should 'back off' (video)

By Emi Kolawole

Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has a message for the president when it comes to his call for earmark elimination: "Back off."

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Reid appeared on "NBC Nightly News" Wednesday night to discuss his reaction to the president's Tuesday night State of the Union address. On the subject of earmarks, he was candid regarding his position that the White House should butt out and leave the Constitutionally-delegated task of spending allocation to Congress.

"This is an applause line," Reid said of Obama's statement during the speech that he would veto any legislation that was sent to him with earmarks included. "It's an effort by the White House to get more power. They've got enough power as it is."

Here's what Obama said:

In the coming year, we'll also work to rebuild people's faith in the institution of government. Because you deserve to know exactly how and where your tax dollars are being spent, you'll be able to go to a Web site and get that information for the very first time in history. Because you deserve to know when your elected officials are meeting with lobbyists, I ask Congress to do what the White House has already done -- put that information online. And because the American people deserve to know that special interests aren't larding up legislation with pet projects, both parties in Congress should know this: If a bill comes to my desk with earmarks inside, I will veto it. I will veto it.

"I think it's absolutely wrong," countered Reid, "and the public should understand that the president has enough power; he should back off and let us do what we do."

But Reid insisted there were no hard feelings between himself and Obama, and said their disagreement on earmarks would not disrupt their ability to work together.

"He's been around awhile. I've been around a while," Reid noted. "Just because he's wrong on this, [it] doesn't mean he's not right on almost everything else."

More on PostPolitics:

-- Read President Obama's full State of the Union
-- Obama: Don't ask, don't tell will end this year
-- Obama takes his sales pitch to Wisconsin
-- Senate Democrats likely to take lead on bipartisan initiatives

By Emi Kolawole  | January 27, 2011; 6:56 AM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, Capitol Briefing  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Sarah Palin turns Obama's 'Win the future' into 'WTF' (video)
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Comments

Earmarks? Obama promised to get rid of them more than two years ago! Is the author suggesting Obama is a liar? Who is he to question the great and almighty Obama! Thanks for the laugh Dems just like real people just to stupid to me considered humans

Posted by: Loxinabox | February 3, 2011 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Of course Reid want's Obamy to back off on earmarks! It means Reid would have to get his hands out of our pockets!

Posted by: TexRancher | February 2, 2011 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Reid said that the White House should butt out and leave the Constitutionally-delegated task of spending allocation to Congress.
----------------------------------------
Well that would work if only Reid understood, constitutionally, what is allowable spending by congress.

James Madison (Father of the Constitution): "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on the objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents."

Posted by: illogicbuster | January 31, 2011 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Reid said that the White House should butt out and leave the Constitutionally-delegated task of spending allocation to Congress.
----------------------------------------
Well that would work if only Reid understood, constitutionally, what is allowable spending by congress.

James Madison (Father of the Constitution): "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on the objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents."

Posted by: illogicbuster | January 31, 2011 10:47 AM | Report abuse

The president already has veto power, unfortunately the entire- saturated bill- gets tossed. Mr Reid is dead wrong, earmarks are an affront to unsuspecting taxpayers who have to pick up the tab.The taxpayer has a right to know that bills being processed in congress are spacific and to the issue they are inacted to support, not some garbage can full of pork and junk. If eaarmarks are the only way congress can do business and get bills passed, then just maybe we all need a new congress. Mr Reid, if you are truely committed to serving your party and the American taxpayers you swore to defend in congress then you will be the one to "backoff"

Posted by: cliffc1 | January 29, 2011 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Hey Reid, here is a message for you. Not back off, BUT you "Shove it"

Posted by: nomobarry | January 28, 2011 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Reid & his Queens pelosi & franks,Call their paying off the thugs in the unions,And carpetbaggers,For their crooked election pole counts.Ear marks,Thats why he's so mad,How dare this scoundral,Tell his great pres,To back off,When he & polosi demanded an apology from Joe Wilson for calling obama a lier,When he was lieing,Or telling nelson,If he didn't get his bribes it was his fault.Tell you how smart the people in NV.Are,I saw a women on the news,Say she voted for this bum reid,Because he's been in office so long,He know what to do.But after 28yrs of reid,Their empolyment is one of the lowest,Except for the union hands,Reid said the rest of his people are nothing but stupid trailor park trash,Well I guess he was right.Look at his state,No jobs,Voted to take & Did take $5 billon dollars from S.S.I.,The Demons have always lied to the stupid American people,That the Repub,Will take their S.S.I.,Well stupid people,Now that the Demoncrafts,Stole your S.S.I.,Their is no way in hell,You can blame the Repub,Remember they are the party of NO,Ear marks is nothing but GARBAG,It nothing but stealing,& a pathetic way to WASTE OUR MONEY,NOT THEIRS,There are really no words I can think of worst than I have have said about the way these Anti-American immoral felons are.All I can say THANKS NV.,You not only screwed your stupid little selves,You clowns have screwed the rest of the American people.For the love of GOD,PLEASE,PLEASE,If we are not part of Mexicao,Or become a mulsum state,Keep this bum in NV.

Posted by: dickiesnhogheaven | January 28, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Reid & his Queens pelosi & franks,Call their paying off the thugs in the unions,And carpetbaggers,For their crooked election pole counts.Ear marks,Thats why he's so mad,How dare this scoundral,Tell his great pres,To back off,When he & polosi demanded an apology from Joe Wilson for calling obama a lier,When he was lieing,Or telling nelson,If he didn't get his bribes it was his fault.Tell you how smart the people in NV.Are,I saw a women on the news,Say she voted for this bum reid,Because he's been in office so long,He know what to do.But after 28yrs of reid,Their empolyment is one of the lowest,Except for the union hands,Reid said the rest of his people are nothing but stupid trailor park trash,Well I guess he was right.Look at his state,No jobs,Voted to take & Did take $5 billon dollars from S.S.I.,The Demons have always lied to the stupid American people,That the Repub,Will take their S.S.I.,Well stupid people,Now that the Demoncrafts,Stole your S.S.I.,Their is no way in hell,You can blame the Repub,Remember they are the party of NO,Ear marks is nothing but GARBAG,It nothing but stealing,& a pathetic way to WASTE OUR MONEY,NOT THEIRS,There are really no words I can think of worst than I have have said about the way these Anti-American immoral felons are.All I can say THANKS NV.,You not only screwed your stupid little selves,You clowns have screwed the rest of the American people.For the love of GOD,PLEASE,PLEASE,If we are not part of Mexicao,Or become a mulsum state,Keep this bum in NV.

Posted by: dickiesnhogheaven | January 28, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Reid, you maggot are an idiot. Commit yourself before harming someone

Posted by: nomobarry | January 27, 2011 7:22 PM | Report abuse

SENATOR REID,

IF EARMARKS ARE SO SOCIALLY COMPASSIONATE AND RESPONSIBLE, WHY DO WE CONTINUOUSLY HEAR BOTH SIDES BEMOAN THEIR USE SO?
IF VETOING EARMARKS IS NOT WITHIN THE JOB DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESIDENT, WOULD NOT THE SUPREME COURT ULTIMATELY RULE AGAINST HIM DOING SO? ARE YOU SAYING THAT YOU DISAPPROVE OF THE BALANCES BETWEEN POWERS? IF SIGNING OR VETOING EVERY PIECE OF LEGISLATION IS A PRESIDENTIAL FUNCTION, HOW CAN THE PRESIDENT BE INTERFERING IN YOUR BUSINESS, AS YOU DESCRIBE IT?

COMMONSENSEFORCOMMONGOOD.COM

Posted by: commonsense4commongoodcom | January 27, 2011 4:41 PM | Report abuse

What's this Co-President Harry Reid telling
Der Leader Barack Hussein Obama to "back off" about earmarks? Did Dingy Harry clear
this with President Nancy Pelosi first or
not now then?

Posted by: Ralphinphnx | January 27, 2011 4:34 PM | Report abuse

There should be a Constitutional Convention called by the people to amend the Constitution outlawing earmarks and clearly stating that all spending must be vetted and approved through the budget process. In other words when the President sends over his recommended budget and the Congress reviews it, amends it, and then votes on it no other money can be spent. That is what is called a budget. What we have now is just a spending plan based upon what each representative needs to spend to get re-elected.

Posted by: staterighter | January 27, 2011 2:08 PM | Report abuse

There should be a Constitutional Convention called by the people to amend the Constitution outlawing earmarks and clearly stating that all spending must be vetted and approved through the budget process. In other words when the President sends over his recommended budget and the Congress reviews it, amends it, and then votes on it no other money can be spent. That is what is called a budget. What we have now is just a spending plan based upon what each representative needs to spend to get re-elected.

Posted by: staterighter | January 27, 2011 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I just wonder how these people get elected. Then some wonder why there is no clear "line" drawn in the sand between parties from a voters perspective. No reason for Obama to "back off" means your guilty! Just say you like having fat pockets

Posted by: TSwansonWI | January 27, 2011 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Earmarks should not be part of a piggyback express. If there is a project worth doing, then let it stand as a separate piece of legislation. Of course Reid would object - that does not come as a surprise. Because both dems and repubs have abused the tax payer money in the past is no acceptable excuse or justification for the Do It Right Now Time. It is time for the good old boys (girls) way of doing business to be no more...even if lobbyists do not like it...even if corporations do not like it. It benefits the tax payers' pocketbook and leaves the real change in their pockets, where it belongs.

Posted by: hummering1 | January 27, 2011 1:00 PM | Report abuse

"Obama does not care about anyone but the rich" That's because Obama and all of his friends are the rich! Did you really think he cared about taking care of the poor in America? Didn't the way he sold out the poor with his behind doors Obamacare deal make it clear enough to you? Your still going to vote for him anyway just like the rest of the sheep who are happy to be lied too by Obama. Did you really think Obama was going to raise taxes on himself and his friends? Come on you didn't really did you

Posted by: Loxinabox | January 27, 2011 11:53 AM | Report abuse

"Obama does not care about anyone but the rich" That's because Obama and all of his friends are the rich! Did you really think he cared about taking care of the poor in America? Didn't the way he sold out the poor with his behind doors Obamacare deal make it clear enough to you? Your still going to vote for him anyway just like the rest of the sheep who are happy to be lied too by Obama. Did you really think Obama was going to raise taxes on himself and his friends? Come on you didn't really did you

Posted by: Loxinabox | January 27, 2011 11:51 AM | Report abuse

PSarahBB wrote,

Personally, I don't like earmarks so much, but Republicans certainly larded up and liked it plenty when they controlled all Congress and Bush held the veto pen. There was no restraint and a record deficit didn't slow them down a bit. The hypocrisy is stunning.
******************************************
Please clarify what you are saying? We should continue to deficit spend because the previous elected leaders did it?

The real issue is how to cut spending. Whether limiting earmarks works or not is the issue. I don't think this limit will help to control spending. Your statement only seems like you are desperately trying to justify why the Democrat controlled Congress and the WH has already tripled the deficit in two years than what Bush did in 8 years. We need to cut now, or are you saying since the Republicans deficit spend we don't need to cut spending going forward? If not, where would you cut? This is a hope that you might have something constructive to add?

Posted by: Bosoxfan | January 27, 2011 11:49 AM | Report abuse

What a joke Obama is! He promised to end ear marks as a campaign promise! What a few years later he might keep his word? One of his parties leaders thinks its a bad idea? Yep if Obama kept his promises people would not laugh at him in the street!

Posted by: Loxinabox | January 27, 2011 11:48 AM | Report abuse

What a joke Obama is! He promised to end ear marks as a campaign promise! What a few years later he might keep his word? One of his parties leaders thinks its a bad idea? Yep if Obama kept his promises people would not laugh at him in the street!

Posted by: Loxinabox | January 27, 2011 11:48 AM | Report abuse

PSarahBB wrote,

Personally, I don't like earmarks so much, but Republicans certainly larded up and liked it plenty when they controlled all Congress and Bush held the veto pen. There was no restraint and a record deficit didn't slow them down a bit. The hypocrisy is stunning.
******************************************
Please clarify what you are saying? We should continue to deficit spend because the previous elected leaders did it?

The real issue is how to cut spending. Whether limiting earmarks works or not is the issue. I don't think this limit will help to control spending. Your statement only seems like you are desperately trying to justify why the Democrat controlled Congress and the WH has already tripled the deficit in two years than what Bush did in 8 years. We need to cut now, or are you saying since the Republicans deficit spend we don't need to cut spending going forward? If not, where would you cut? This is a hope that you might have something constructive to add?

Posted by: Bosoxfan | January 27, 2011 11:47 AM | Report abuse

What a joke Obama is! He promised to end ear marks as a campaign promise! What a few years later he might keep his word? One of his parties leaders thinks its a bad idea? Yep if Obama kept his promises people would not laugh at him in the street!

Posted by: Loxinabox | January 27, 2011 11:42 AM | Report abuse

poppysue85 wrote:

Americans are universally disgusted with earmarks.

----------------

No, you're just wrong. Only those who do not understand the role of the separate branches of government according to the Constitution want to end all earmarks. Either that or they want a new Constitution. Tea partiers can't claim to want to "return to our origins" and also want to end all earmarks. If Congress does not decide where the money goes, who does?

I am sure every American could come up with a list of earmarks they don't like - that both parties have pushed through since March 1789 (yes, done by the infallable "founders" everyone likes to quote so much lately). But every single person in this country has benefited from earmarks at one time or another whether they know it or not.

Posted by: adwashburn | January 27, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse

HARRY REID AKA KOOLAID DRUNKEE
Y
WOULD
ANYONE LIZTEN TO U...
U
R JUZT AZ JACKAZZEE AZ HE IZ!!!!!
OF
COURZE
EARMARKZ R WRONG...DO U THINK WE R
ZTOOOOOOPID....GET REAL...
U JUZT
KNOW THAT EVERYONE EXCEPT HIZ CRONEEZ
HAVE TURNED ON HIM
AND NOW
U WANT TO LOOK LIKE YOU AREN'T A
KOOLAID ...SHEEP...
ITZ NOT GONNA HAPPEN!!!!!!!!!!!
U
R ALREADY:::...BRANDED AZ ONE......:::::

Posted by: sherimoonfirefly777 | January 27, 2011 11:13 AM | Report abuse

harry probably got a polaroid of a reid-sized hole in the desert to remind him of how generous the casinos were back in november

Posted by: joeboo1 | January 27, 2011 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Personally, I don't like earmarks so much, but Republicans certainly larded up and liked it plenty when they controlled all Congress and Bush held the veto pen. There was no restraint and a record deficit didn't slow them down a bit. The hypocrisy is stunning.

Posted by: SarahBB | January 27, 2011 10:31 AM | Report abuse

What ever Benefit the Unions may get from Earmarks, Legislation or Obama goes equally to all Blue Collar Workers.

Unions Work collectively for "Workers Rights" which include everyone below the Management Level.

You have many Rights under labor laws management doesn't want you to know about. Ignorance of those Rights can get you killed; knowledge can save your health and life.

Posted by: ddoiron1 | January 27, 2011 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Americans are universally disgusted with earmarks. Harry Reid must have fallen down and smacked his head really hard. Having lobbies in your pockets is one thing- making public statements like that- well, some wire came loose on the mechanism. He was barely re-elected and he ran against a certified lunatic.....so...stay tuned if you are a sportsfan.....

Posted by: poppysue85 | January 27, 2011 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Of course Senator Reid wants earmarks--he has the influence to get money for his state. But it's not just Democrats. Which Republican fought to the bitter end to retain earmarks? Mitch McConnell, of course.

This isn't a matter of party, but power.

Posted by: amaikovich | January 27, 2011 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Watching Harry Reid spew his pinhead blather makes me want to face spank 51% of Nevada.

Posted by: carlbatey | January 27, 2011 10:01 AM | Report abuse

The best thing Reid can do is resign. This is going to be an ever worse year for him than last. Save the last few good years in retirement Harry do nothing.

Posted by: espnfan | January 27, 2011 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Watching Harry Reid spew his pinhead blather makes me want to face spank 51% of Nevada.

Posted by: carlbatey | January 27, 2011 9:45 AM | Report abuse


The Left talk about a split in the Republican Party, do I see a "fissure" in the Democratic Party, too?

Posted by: janet8 | January 27, 2011 9:40 AM | Report abuse

He ADMITS Congress caused the deficits and debt???? "the Constitutionally-delegated task of spending allocation to Congress"

Starting in 2007, the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress. So, it was NOT George Bush's fault!

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | January 27, 2011 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Reid needs earmarks to pay off the casinos on Nev for buying his reelection. It is to hard to beleive the people of Nevada would re elect him without theri help and money so now he has to pay them back through earmarks for their pet projects that get paid for with federal money

Posted by: Hopinghere2 | January 27, 2011 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Reid needs earmarks to pay off the casinos on Nev for buying his reelection. It is to hard to beleive the people of Nevada would re elect him without theri help and money so now he has to pay them back through earmarks for their pet projects that get paid for with federal money

Posted by: Hopinghere2 | January 27, 2011 9:18 AM | Report abuse

This nation is on the verge of a civil war. I pray that it comes soon.

Posted by: fpcsteve27 | January 27, 2011 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Look at the Dems - they puclicly admit they want pork....and lots of it. Can't wait for the GOP controlled House to slash Obama's pork-filled 2012 budget and eliminate funding for Obama's "investments" and pay backs to the labor unions.

Posted by: Realist201 | January 27, 2011 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Look at Reid.

He doesn't want transparency?

Transparency was the cornerstone of Obama's promised CHANGE to government, and one that he has not delivered on.

We need MORE transparency in government finance and influence.

Get rid of the earmarks.

Lets shine some sunlight on lobbyists.

When we say we have a representative government, let's make sure it's people who are getting represented, and not just big money special interests.

Posted by: Benson | January 27, 2011 8:32 AM | Report abuse

We need a balanced budget, not just cuts in spending and tax increases. We need a Congress that will stop bickering and do something!!

Posted by: feldwell | January 27, 2011 8:22 AM | Report abuse

We need a balanced budget, not just cuts and tax increases. We need both. Get busy, Congress, stop bickering and do something!!

Posted by: feldwell | January 27, 2011 8:18 AM | Report abuse

There are very few people that I have little respect for than Hussein Obama . However, two of them are Harry ( the Prune ) Reid, and Nancy ( Botox ) Pelosi. Reid was shaking in those Mormon boots of his before he decided to curry the Mexicans for their vote by promising their Kids a College education, and also promise to work for Amnesty for Illegals. That plus the backing of the corrupt SEIU and his penchant for bellying up to the Political Troth by accepting bribes and other pulp from Lobbyists is what has kept him in place all these years. Under the guise of , " Hey I'm bringing home the bacon to my Constituents " seems to salve the wounds of his voters . Never mind that his actions are costing people in other states plenty , as long as he helps us, is the motto of all those who line up to kizz his backside. The only mystery to me, is how they find it. His recterial area , I mean. Harry never knew which end was up , and I'm sure he wipes his nose with toilet paper and blows the other end with a handkerchief. 2 year term limits is still the cry People. And here in the Prune, Nancy, Dodd, Fwank, and the rest, are proof positive.

Posted by: puck-101 | January 27, 2011 8:07 AM | Report abuse

I truly hope President Obama sticks by his promises this time and does in fact veto any bill with earmarks. It's been over two years now and despite the President's promises, our government is no more 'transparent' now than it was under Bush. It's never too late, however, to start doing the right thing.

The problems with earmarks are not how much they cost or even necessarily on what they are spent. To pretend that that is the problem is simply disingenious.

The problem with earmarks is NOT their cost but the secretive and subterranean nature of the practice itself. We the people have not only a right but a NEED to know what is being done with OUR money and in OUR name. The practice of earmarks, of inserting appropriations without public debate or scrutiny, is PROFOUNDLY anti-democratic and is basically an assault on the peoples' sovereignty.

These people are supposed to REPRESENT us, not rule us. If a Congressman or -woman wants to spend OUR money, they should ahve to justify that expense publically and ALL appropriations should be debated. Earmarking is simply NOT the way to do business in a free state.

I think the new rule about 'Constitutional Justification" may help some but if the President simply refuses to sign bills with earmarks, then that would leave Congress with no choice but to debate honestly and openly. He has a real opportunity to make a REAL change.

Please stick to your guns* and don't let us down again, Mr. President!

(*Note to insane people: not to be taken literally.)

Posted by: andrew23boyle | January 27, 2011 8:05 AM | Report abuse

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