|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
A House Appropriations Committee report accompanying legislation funding the Department of the Interior shows that Bush requested 93 of the 321 earmarks in the bill. A panel report for the financial services and general government spending bill showed that Bush requested 17 special projects worth $947 million, more than any single member of Congress.
Senate appropriators have identified more than 350 earmarks in the military construction spending bill requested by the president.
Lawmakers say these lists of earmarks are inconsistent with Bush’s tough talk on earmarks this year.
During a Rose Garden speech in January, Bush called for the number of earmarks to be cut in half.
“Earmarks often divert precious funds from vital priorities like national defense,” Bush said. “And each year they cost the taxpayers billions of dollars.
“Congress needs to adopt real reform that requires full disclosure of the sponsors, the costs, the recipients, and the justifications for every earmark,” he said. “And Congress needs to cut the number and cost of earmarks next year at least in half.”
When Bush recently nominated former House Budget Committee Chairman Jim Nussle (R-Iowa) as head of the White House budget office, he reminded Congress that he would veto bills with excessive levels of spending and curb the number of earmarks.
“It would appear the administration likes earmarks from their perspective,” said Rep. Robert Aderholt (Ala.), a Republican member of the House Appropriations Committee.
“Inconsistent would be a fair way to say it,” Aderholt said when asked if Bush was being hypocritical for simultaneously requesting and criticizing earmarks.
Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho), the chairman of the Senate Appropriations interior subcommittee, shares Aderholt’s view.
“Hypocrisy? No, but one might call that duplicity,” said Craig.