Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Omnibus Spending Bill Passes in House

Two separate votes took place on this bill. The first was a 253-154 vote in favor of clearing the actual spending measure, the second was a 206-201 vote in favor of allocating an extra $31 billion to the troops in Afghanistan (good job).

Republicans aren't exactly thrilled about this bill, though.

Republicans attacked the omnibus package, pointing out that many earmarks were “airdropped” into the bill at the last moment. They also were critical of Democratic leadership’s decision not to include Iraq war funding in the measure. Those funds are expected to be added by the Senate.

Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), a vocal critic of earmarks, said a few of the airdropped earmarks simply seek to allocate money to cities without explanation.

Flake rattled off the names of cities and how much the bill will allocate to those locales.

“For what?” Flake asked. “We have no idea.”

Which is why we need to start seriously busting the pork barrel projects and wasteful spending with more transparency in government and by forcing justifcation for these earmarks before shoving them into bills at the last minute.

(h/t The Hill)

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