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Posted at 9:15 AM ET, 01/ 6/2011

Exploiting the Democratic split on earmarks

By Jennifer Rubin

Greg Sargent wrote last night: "Is Nancy Pelosi openly siding against Harry Reid, and with the House GOP, on earmarks? That's what Eric Cantor says he took from a conference call he had with Pelosi and Obama today. According to Cantor, Pelosi remarked that she'd like to see Reid join her and the House GOP in doing away with earmarks, a leading House GOP priority."

House Republicans are delighted by the prospect of a fight among Democrats. A Cantor adviser told me last night: "I never thought I'd see the day when Rep. Pelosi would 'out-conservative' someone, but it has arrived. If you Google 'out-of-touch,' Leader Reid's picture should appear." And I never thought I'd see the day when Pelosi was triangulating. (Could it be that all those defections on the minority leader vote spooked her?)

But this isn't the first time Reid misjudged the political landscape. Recall that he brought the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending monstrosity to the Senate floor during the lame-duck session, only to find out he didn't have the votes for cloture. So will he wind up being embarrassed once again?

By Jennifer Rubin  | January 6, 2011; 9:15 AM ET
Categories:  House Democrats, House GOP  
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Comments

This all seems so silly. Neither side is serious about changing the way they do business. They are already doing a process that has been described as "phonemarking", whereby the legislators put nothing in writing and simply call the responsible party to inform them how the money is to be spent.

Again as has been pointed out numerous times, no one is talking about reducing the appropriations themselves, but only whether the money is legally directed to a specific project. It can be done just as easily with a phone call as with a bill.

Posted by: 54465446 | January 6, 2011 9:50 AM | Report abuse

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