Rejection of 'Earmarks' Angers Democrats
Our Their government at work.
GOP Subcommittee Chairman Says He Won't Honor Party's Projects in Bill
Rep. Ralph Regula (R-Ohio), who chairs the subcommittee that controls spending on education, health and jobs programs, recently stunned Democrats by announcing plans to reject every "earmarked" project they are seeking in the final, compromise version of the bill, which funds the departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Labor.White House Puts Limits on Queries From Democrats
His reason: When the House passed the bill on July 10, all 198 Democrats present voted against it, several of them saying it shortchanged education programs. The bill passed, 215 to 208.
Democrats say the real victims of Regula's policy will be the poor. Of the nation's 50 poorest congressional districts, 42 are represented by Democrats. Democrats say schools and community groups in these districts often need help from their member of Congress for worthwhile projects.
Hoyer had hoped to get $400, 000 -- the same as last year -- for a group called Rebuilding Together. The nonprofit organization works with volunteers to rehabilitate homes of the poor, elderly and disabled.
The Bush White House, irritated by pesky questions from congressional Democrats about how the administration is using taxpayer money, has developed an efficient solution: It will not entertain any more questions from opposition lawmakers.
For La. Lobbying Firm, a Victory on Workers' Comp
A Louisiana firm scored a quiet lobbying victory this week when House and Senate negotiators decided not to transfer a compensation program for ill weapons-lab workers from the Energy Department to the Labor Department.
Sens. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) inserted language into an energy and water spending bill that would have transferred control of the DOE program to Labor, which they say has more experience working through such claims. They said the DOE has not properly implemented the program, creating a seven-year backlog of claims.
They wrote the top Senate negotiators, Sens. Pete V. Domenici (R-N.M.) and Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.): "Based on DOE's own publicly available data and the General Accounting Office's evaluations so far, it is plain that this program is failing."
But Science and Engineering Associates -- which in 2001 obtained a non-competitive contract worth more than $15 million to process the DOE claims -- fought back. It brought in heavy hitters such as former House Appropriations Committee chairman Bob Livingston (R-La.) to make its case on Capitol Hill. It also increased its political contributions between 1998 and 2002 from $4,000 to nearly $50,000, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
(Ed. Note: By “their,” government, I don’t necessaryliy mean the R’s as much as I mean business money. In this case the “good guy” was a Republican, and those bought off were Democrats.)
White House to End Power Plant Probes
Move Follows EPA Easing of Enforcement
The Bush administration confirmed yesterday that it will close pending investigations of 70 power plants suspected of violating the Clean Air Act and will consider dropping 13 other cases against utilities that were referred to the Justice Department for action, following the Environmental Protection Agency's decision in August to ease enforcement rules.