Diary

So Much For Congressional Oversight

The mind reels:

How money is spent should be far from the biggest concern about the stimulus package, its chief author, House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-Wisc.) said Friday.

“So what?” Obey asked in response to a question on NPR’s “Morning Edition” about the perceived lack of direction from Congress as to how money in the stimulus should be spent. “This is an emergency. We’ve got to simply find a way to get this done as fast as possible and as well as possible, and that’s what we’re doing.”

Obey said that Congress is not responsible if money is misspent, but rather, whoever spends the money poorly.

I would be very interested in seeing more Congressional Democrats claim that Congress is not responsible if it structures a stimulus package so that money is misspent. The amount of time in between such statements and the critical political ads that would justly follow may well need to be measured in nanoseconds.

In the meantime, read this account concerning Obey’s comments. It is genuinely frightening.