Bush, Congressional Republicans Cave On Earmark Reformby Doug Mataconis
It looks like Republicans in Washington are backing down on the fight against Congressional earmarks, the latest example being the White House’s decision to back away from issuing an Executive Order aimed at stopping earmarks altogether:
The White House is now confirming that President Bush won’t be signing an executive order that could stop the vast majority of earmarks. Instead, he’s going to sign one “directing agencies to ignore any future earmarks included in report language but not in the legislation, which is traditionally how they end upon the books,” according to White House spokesman Dana Perino.
Bush will also threaten to veto any appropriations bills that don’t cut the number of earmarks in half when they come to him during the remainder of his days in the White House.
Confirmation of Bush’s decision comes hard on the heels of the House GOP’s weekend letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi proposing a six-month moratorium on earmarks and the appointment of a joint Senate-House committee to study the issue. And last week the Senate GOP Conference Chairman, Sen. Lamar Alexander, made clear his intent to cooperate with Democrats rather than confront them.
In view of the collapse of the GOP leadership on all three fronts, it is absolutely fitting that Pelosi most accurately explains what it means: “I think Republicans have pulled their punch on earmarks. It looked like a very lukewarm approach. They want to beat a loud drum, but when it comes down to it, they want their earmarks.”
Precisely. With few exceptions, the Republicans in the nation’s capitol are toothless wonders. They talk a good case for conservative reform but they don’t walk it. They want to keep the perks of power and position, even if doing so means betraying the principles they profess to believe and for the defense of which their constituents voted for them.
On all but a few issues, America no longer has a two-party system – It has only the Party of Government with two wings cooperating “to get things done.” We conservatives are a base without a party.
Given how the Republicans governed during the first six years of the Bush Administration, can anyone honestly say that they’re surprised by this ?