Diary

Why do Defense Appropriations bills pass? Earmarks.

“Mr. Speaker, I would suggest that when you have a conference report and we finally get a look at it last night, less than 12 hours ago or so, and there are more than two dozen earmarks air-dropped into it, this is the first we’ve seen of them, we haven’t seen any of them before this time, that is not the model of transparency. That is not openness. We have no ability to challenge those earmarks. None. We can’t highlight them and say you vote up or down on this earmark.

The joint explanatory statement says that there are 24 Defense earmarks that were not passed by either Chamber, costing $59 million. Let me give you just one example of what’s in there. There is one of these earmarks, $3 million earmark in the Defense bill, remember, this is the Defense bill we’re talking about, a $3 million earmark for a program, according to The Hill newspaper, intended to attract disadvantaged and minority children to the game of golf. This is the game of golf in a Defense bill. Is it any wonder, should anybody be surprised that this was an earmark that was air-dropped into the conference report when we don’t have the ability in this Chamber to challenge it? This is the only opportunity we have, a procedural vote, as to whether to move forward on the rule. Now, that is not openness, that is not transparency.” – Jeff Flake, Arizona.

Stop this nonsense. Vote John McCain.