DeMint, Coburn pull Senate plug on pork spending

Senators Jim DeMint and Tom Coburn deserve praise from conservatives for doggedly insisting that this Republican Congress not pass porked up spending bills in the remaining weeks before Dems take control.

Andy Roth has the details.

23 Responses to “DeMint, Coburn pull Senate plug on pork spending”

  1. Anon Says:

    In my book screwing over verterans who fought for our country doesn’t deserve priase.

    From Congressional Quarterly

    …such a measure would hurt veterans, resulting in “a gradual reduction in veterans treated, outpatients visits, and an increase in waiting times.”

    Manley said new construction projects for major medical facilities and outpatient clinics will be stopped and most hospitals will have to institute a hiring freeze to conserve resources for direct health care expenses. In addition, she said, veterans will have to wait longer for their compensation and benefit claims to be processed.

    “In this case, they’re saving money on the backs of veterans,” said Dennis Cullinan, legislative director for VFW.

    Cullinan said by not passing the military construction measure by the start of the fiscal year on Oct. 1, some harm has already been done. “One would think that Republicans would take care of vets. . . . Certainly by holding back the ’07 funding levels they’re hurting VA and vets and they’re hurting the DOD health care system,” Cullinan said.

  2. Tim Says:

    Only in Washington is continuing funding at last year’s levels considered a cut that “screws over veterans.”

    I repeat, DeMint and Coburn deserve much praise for their courageous stand against continued unbridled government growth…especially when they know they are going to be attacked by liberal hacks like Manley in the manner we have witnessed above.

  3. Anon Says:

    More money is needed for veterans - plain and simple. If you haven’t noticed we are in a war, there are tens of thousands of courageous young men and women who are fighting the war on terror and getting hurt in the process. How does Tom Coburn decide to thank them? By torpedoing increased funding for veterans hosptials? This isn’t peace time, the need in these hosptials and services have greatly increased due to the war. President Bush realizes this and that is why he added an increase of funding for these agencies. That is also why the House and Senate appropriations bills added more money. I guess Coburn thinks people should go and fight for their country, but if they get hurt they’re on their own.

  4. Fritz McGee Says:

    I think it’s disgusting that pork-loving appropriators are using our veterans as just another way to steer corrupt earmarks back to their own districts.

    Our veterans - especially those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan - deserve better than to be used as a means of getting pork projects and earmarks.

    And if appropriators in Congress cared so much about helping our veterans, the veterans spending bill would have been their FIRST priority, and they wouldn’t have waited until the the last days of Congress to provide for them.

  5. Fritz McGee Says:

    Another point: did our troops go to Iraq to secure the ability of appropriators to get earmarks for their campaign contributors? I doubt it.

    If the little piggies in Congress cared more about our veterans than about earmarks, I bet that bill would’ve passed by now.

  6. Anon Says:

    What’s disgusting is the far right wing nuts who have chosen to make it more difficult for disabled veterans get the service they need just to score political points. The corrupt earmarks you are talking about are things like expanding VA hospitals. I don’t see what’s corrupt about helping those who fought for our country. You’re right they do deserve better, they deserve to not be treated in pawns for Tom Coburns presser.

    Also, appropriators have no control over the congressional schedule, the Speaker of the Hosue and the Majority Leader control the schedule. The bill has been ready for consideration for months.

  7. Anon Says:

    Our troops went to Iraq to defend our country, our government and our constitution. The founding fathers created a system of checks and balances in our country. They fully intended for congress to control the purse strings of governement. Earmarks are a part of that, otherwise congress is setting a number and the Executive Branch decides how that is spent. Decided how tax payer dollars are spent should be done by elected officals who are held accountable for their actions, not some unionized faceless career beaurcrat at whatever department or agency. If Coburn et al had paid attention in civics class then the bill would have passed by now. Instead, they want to score political points and they don’t care who they step on along the way.

  8. Fritz McGee Says:

    You know you’ve got a winning talking point when it sounds something like this, “If former congressman and current federal inmate Duke Cunningham can’t earmark your money, then a federal agency will spend the money instead…AAAAAAHHHHH!”

    But, as “Anon” is apparently trying to say, if corrupt members of Congress can’t earmark, the terrorists have already won.

    And, “Anon”, for goodness’ sake, be a man and use your real name. My parents gave me the most retarded name on the face of the earth and I still use it.

  9. » Blog Archive » DeMint off to good start as Steering Chairman Says:

    […] Now, it looks as if Senator Jim DeMint will be doing just the same. As noted last week, DeMint teamed up with Tom Coburn to put the brakes on a raft of porked up appropriations bills despite receiving the predictable criticism from big-spending GOP colleagues on the Appropriations Committee. The Wall Street Journal today has more on that effort: It’s been years since federal agencies have screamed this loudly about fiscal discipline being imposed on them. GOP Sens. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Jim DeMint of South Carolina have decided to take a stand against overspending by objecting to the nearly 10,000 earmarks, or member-sponsored pork projects, larded throughout the spending bills Congress is currently considering.Their obstinacy has convinced the leadership of the departing Republican Congress that they probably won’t be able to pass spending bills in next month’s short lame-duck session. Instead, they are likely to pass a stopgap “continuing resolution,” which will continue funding all programs at last year’s level until the new Democratic Congress passes its own versions of the funding bills. […]

  10. Anon Says:

    I see that you note my point, yet try to trivialize it because you have no counter. I want you to explain how it is better for an unaccountable, unelected beaurocrat to spend tax dollars as they see fit rather than someone who was elected by the people and is accountable to the people. Yes Duke Cunningham was corrupt and the system of our country worked. He was indicted and is now in prison. Same with Jack Abramoff, he broke the rules, was indicted and is now in prison. That’s how it works. I look forward to your argument for no accountability.

    As for “Anon” I used this when Chapman had antoher blog and it was way way too difficult to sign up so it just referred to me as anonymous and I was givnen the nickname anon. To create continuity with other regular commentors I kept the name moniker when the new blog started. It has nothing to do with hiding, just don’t want to confuse anyone.

    Also, I’m sure Chappy will be fired up when he reads that the appropriators are not committing to doing a CR with last years funding levels. They’re more interesting in doing what’s right for the country and specifically for veterans than what’s politically popular with the far far far right wingnut segment of the Republican party.

  11. Fritz McGee Says:

    I wonder if Anon’s earmark clients are getting billed for his blog postings.

  12. Anon Says:

    I love it. You still don’t answer the question as to why a faceless unaccountable person is better spending the tax payer dollars than an elected accountable person. Why? Because deep down inside you know you’re wrong on the issue and only want to use it for political gain.

    And I wish I had clients because I would be making a lot more money. So to answer your question not only do I not have earmark clients I don’t have clients.

    That being said, I wonder if the taxpayers are footing the bill for your blog postings. I know things are slow on the hill but geez.

  13. Fritz McGee Says:

    How about: don’t spend the money. Yikes, that was tough.

  14. Anon Says:

    Oh so you’re one of those. Good answer, let’s just abolish the federal government - that’ll be great for the country.

  15. Fritz McGee Says:

    If I had to pick between letting “bureacrats” spend $250 million on whatever they wish or letting corrupt politicians spend $250 million on a Bridge to Nowhere, I would opt to not spend the money. Crazy!

    Also, I do not work in Washington. I am a music teacher and I teach flute lessons in my spare time.

  16. Anon Says:

    First off, to say that any elected official who request an earmark for their constitiuents is corrupt is a HUGE leap. If you really believe that, then about 99% of Congress is corrupt. These Members are simply there doing what they were elected to do — represent their district or state. The “Bridge to Nowhere” wasn’t actually to know where, but it did only benefit a few people. That being said, bridges aren’t exactly cheap to build and those people don’t exactly have a lot of options on getting off the island. Now the question of whether it should or should not have been included was debated on the floor of the Senate (as it should have been) and a majority of Senators supported said bridge. That’s kinda how a democracy works and we kinda have the greatest government in the world. If your Member voted for the bridge and you disagree then you should vote against him or her in the next election if it’s that important to you. But the bottom line is our system of government played out and that was the result, that has been the result on every earmark challenge I can remember.

    My biggest problem with these members who hem and haw about earmarks is that they are so disingenious and I have a really hard time respecting them on this issue. They know their counterparts are going to request earmarks and their state will get taken care of so they can do their political grandstanding. When I see a Senator or a Congressman go to the floor of their respective body and offer amendments to strip earmarks that help their consitiuents then I will have respect for them. But the problem is, Senator Coburn or McCain or whoever will NEVER go down and offer amendments to strip every earmark that helps their state. Why? Because they know it would be political suicide and the people of their state they were elected to represent would not be happy campers. They will simply attack other states and then run to a press conference.

    In the end, you have three options. One, allow Congress to control the purse strings. Two allow the Executive Branch to control the purse strings (ie career employees, who are unaccountable and unelected). Three, just don’t spend the money, which depending on how you define an earmark could largely shrink the federal government, while stifling economic growth and trade.

  17. Fritz McGee Says:

    For those who don’t feel like reading all that crap, our friend Anon just 1) defended the Bridge to Nowhere, and 2) seemed to insinuate that shrinking the federal government would be a bad thing. What a true conservative!

  18. Anon Says:

    I like you’re style Fritz, you ignore the debate and throw out a soundbite. It’s kinda like watching Al Shapton get stumped on a talk show.

    Also, I did not defend the “Bridge to Nowhere” I was defending democracy. Secondly, I was insinuateing that irrationally shrinking the federal governement just for the sake of shrinking would be a bad thing. I never said there were not programs that could be cut or minimized.

  19. Fritz McGee Says:

    Smaller government for the sake of having smaller government would be a bad thing? You, sir, are not a conservative, which is why you have a such a stiffy for wasteful earmarks and big government spending.

  20. Anon Says:

    Again, that is not what I said. I think government should be as small as possible while still providing the needs of the economy and the country. You’re not actually reading what I am writing, but rather taking what I am writing and creating hyperbole out of it. I actualy said that programs could and should be cut. I see no need for a lot of government programs, but at the same time I do not hold the view of some right wing think tanks who would arbitrarily kill programs they do not understand.

    Also I don’t have a “stiffy” for wasteful earmarks, I think they are wrong and hurt the vast marjority of programs that are credible and have federal dollars directed to them. However, I respect the system of governing our Founding Fathers created. The Bridge to Nowhere probably should not have been included in that bill (I say probably only because I don’t know the ins and outs of the communities needs) (note: this is an example of actually thinking about something instead of immediatley discounting it). However, I respect the fact that a majority of elected officials thought that it should be included. Don’t hate the bridge, unelect the people who voted for the bridge if that is important to you.

    You’re argument is akin to those who wish to outlaw guns because bad people use them.

    Finally, it’s people like you that we are in the minority right now. I am no where near moderate, but if you had your choice I would not be allowed in the party. If we keep going down this road we will be in the same place the Democrats have been the past 20 years or so. Liberals highjacked the Democratic party, now the far far right conservatives are trying to highjack the Republican party. To me its extremely saddening.

  21. Fritz McGee Says:

    Ronald Reagan once vetoed a transportation bill because it had 151 earmarks. I guess he was also guilty of hijacking the Republican party. What a jerk!

  22. Anon Says:

    Presdient Reagan also voted for amnesty. Pulling out one decision out of thousands doesn’t due your argument or his legacy justice.

  23. Fritz McGee Says:

    We’re not talking about “thousands” of decisions, we’re talking about earmarks.

    You think being against earmarks is tantamount to “hijacking” the Republican party (which currently has a party platform of limited taxes and spending), and Ronald Reagan and I disagree.

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