Wednesday, January 16, 2008

GIVE HIM A HAND!

The first week of January I put out a plea for assistance, something I don't do often. I asked people to write President Bush in support of a decision he was mulling over, one that would direct the executive department to ignore congressional earmark requests.

It appears that President Bush will do so, but that's no reason for you to not write him again.
[President] Bush signed the fiscal 2008 spending legislation into law shortly after Christmas Day, but has indicated he might direct officials at federal agencies to ignore the nearly 9,000 member projects written in the bill’s report language.

The executive order would generate enormous support from fiscal hawks, but would roil already poor relations between the White House and the Democratic Congress — not to mention infuriate many Republicans touting the projects to their constituents.

Earmarks take on an added importance during election years because lawmakers want to show voters they can bring federal money back home.

A spokesman for Senate Appropriations Chairman Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) accused the Bush administration of hypocrisy for considering an executive order telling federal agencies to ignore earmarks since no such order was issued during Republican control of Congress. The executive order would affect all earmarks included in report language that accompanies the appropriations bill.
Senator Byrd is right, this move would be inconsistent at least. Yet it's the right kind of inconsistency; the kind where you stop doing something bad and start doing something right. Byrd has a lot of reason to complain, he's one of the worst congressmen regarding earmarks. Only John Murtha (also Democrat from West Virginia Pennsylvania) surpasses him in earmark dollars.

So let him hear from you, politely urge him to ignore the knuckleheads in congress and take this historical step. It might be the start of a trend for presidents, and at very least would establish precedent. Email the President at comments@whitehouse.gov or call (202) 456-1111 with your polite support.

Because this is really a bipartisan issue.

*Update: Congressman John Murtha is from PA, not WV as I originally posted. Thanks to Pupster for the correction - he has a blog that's great, I recommend you read it. It's hardly ever about puppies, though.

1 comment:

Pupster said...

Murtha is from Pennsylvania.

The dihonerable Jay Rockefeller is the other D-WV.