House Dems Like Earmark Reform. Senate Dems? Not so much…
Ah yes, see how much has changed! Looks like the House Democrats earmark reform bill is being supported by most Senate Republicans and a few Democrats….but the heartiest opposition is being put up by Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (via Glenn Reynolds). TPM Muckraker has one report and Andy Roth at the Club For Growth kept a running commentary on the goings on. Roth also posted a follow-up, which included this bit:
Senator Jim DeMint offered strong reform to the most egregious spending abuses in Congress-a proposal that was sponsored by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and that passed the House just last week. After trying, and failing, to kill the DeMint proposal, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senator Ted Kennedy and other Democrats used stall tactics to delay a final vote. Ultimately, the Senate was forced to postpone it.
I had heard that some local “new media” outlets sympathetic to the Democrats were starting up some countdown or something to track all of the “change” that was going to happen. (Funny, I checked them out and haven’t seen anything about this yet. Maybe they’ll get around to it. That is, of course, once they work out how to frame it as a positive for “their side.”)
Which gives me an opportunity to offer a little advice for those new to the porkbusting/earmark reform movement in particular. You’re either “all in” by going after anyone of either party who is a roadblock to said reform or you’re not “in” at all. That means that you really, truly have to hold people accountable, even if, you know, you really, really like them, and all. So, yes, you actually have to put the pom-poms down every once in a while and throw a “boo” and “hiss” their way. Or you can just keep being a Party cheerleader.
Then, of course, maybe some Democrats supported earmark reform only because it was the GOP running Congress, right? Nah…..couldn’t be that.
UPDATE: Looks like Senator Reid has acquiesced (via CFG quoting a Congressional Quarterly $$ article):
After losing a critical floor vote Thursday and scrambling in vain to reverse the decision, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., found the spirit of bipartisan compromise more to his liking Friday morning.
Reid offered an olive branch to Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., agreeing to embrace his amendment to a pending ethics and lobbying overhaul (S 1) with some modifications. DeMint’s amendment, which Democratic leaders tried but failed to kill on Thursday, would expand the definition of member earmarks that would be subject to new disclosure rules.
[…] Reid admitted Friday that he was caught off guard when nine Democrats and independent Joseph I. Lieberman voted against his motion to table, or kill, the DeMint amendment. His effort failed, 46-51.
[…] Friday morning, a chastened Reid said, “Yesterday was a rather difficult day, as some days are. We tend to get in a hurry around here sometimes when we shouldn’t be. Personally, for the majority, we probably could have done a little better job.”
DeMint, who was flabbergasted Thursday by Reid’s maneuvering to change the outcome of the vote, was happy to accept the compromise Friday.
“DeMint has been happy to work to come to a bipartisan compromise that solidifies the reforms done by [Speaker Nancy] Pelosi [D-Calif.] and House Democrats,” said DeMint spokesman Wesley Denton.
Congrats to those on the left, right and center who held Reid’s feet to the fire. Maybe next time, when such hypocrisy becomes readily apparent, even more folks from across the political spectrum will chime in!