Never mind $700 billion – how about $1 trillion – Dem. David Obey says bend over while we administer it
A report by Bloomberg, has a startling statement made by the House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey. When asked about the budget bill that was rammed through the house with little or no public discussion, and whether it had been secretive, he had this to say.
`You’re damn right it has because if it’s done in the public it would never get done.” He said he wanted to avoid his colleagues’ “pontificating” on the content of the legislation, saying “that’s what politicians do when this stuff is done in full view of the press.” He said “we’ve done this the old fashioned way by brokering agreements in order to get things done and I make no apology for it.”
Maybe a little hard scrutiny (that which you, Obey, call ‘pontificating’) would be nice for a change. Also, why is this bill being passed simultaneously as the Wall Street rescue bill? Yes, there is a September 30 deadline, but don’t you think that if the Wall Street bill was SUCH A BIG DEAL, and was going to implode the countries economy like you have been yelling at us, that we ought to be taking a doubly hard and cut-throat approach to it? If you really believed what you were saying, wouldn’t you want to look at the budget bill intensely?
There is a game being played here, and we are the suckers who are being faked out by this wall street bill. The cronies are having a field day with us. First they tell us that it has to be done yesterday, and now Pelosi comes out and says, well yeah there was some problems with it, and we may not have a resolution till Wednesday.
There is a high stakes game of retaliation going on, last year Pelosi and Obey had their plans thwarted by the house republicans, led by House Minority Leader John Boehner. Ed Morrisey covered that story.
Why do I get the feeling that I am being told to bend over all over again?
CCAGW BLASTS CHAIRMAN OBEY FOR $1 TRILLION BUDGET CIRCUS
(Washington, D.C.) – The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) today blasted House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-Wisconsin) for presiding over a dysfunctional, chaotic federal budget circus. In a flurry of activity yesterday, Chairman Obey forced Congress to vote on a stop-gap continuing resolution worth $1 trillion in spending with less than 24 hours to review its contents. The rush was aimed at getting lawmakers out of Washington, D.C. as quickly as possible to campaign before the November election and to short-circuit any in-depth scrutiny of the billions of dollars in wasteful spending. The bill came to the House floor under a closed rule, which prohibited amendments and passed 370 to 58.
“Chairman Obey’s actions, and the actions of the entire Democratic leadership team in the House represent a stunning abdication of fiscal responsibility,” said CCAGW President Tom Schatz. “A significant number of lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are allowing themselves to be steamrolled and, once again, demonstrating blatant hostility to the rights of taxpayers to know how their money is being spent. The deadline for approving appropriations bills is the same each year, September 30, and if the Democrats had done their job over the past nine months, this legislation could have been deliberately considered, reviewed, and publicized. Democrats took over Congress promising greater transparency; this is completely contrary to that claim.”
The bill, H.R. 2638, will fund nine of the twelve appropriations bills at fiscal year 2008 levels until March 6, 2009. It contains billions in congressional earmarks. H.R. 2638 also contains language which appropriates $7 billion of an authorized $50 billion in loan guarantees to bailout Detroit’s “Big Three” automakers. The bill contains a $600 billion “security omnibus” bill combining the remaining three appropriations bills (Military Con/Veterans Affairs, Defense, and Homeland Security), as well as $22.9 billion in so-called disaster relief. Lawmakers also rammed through a separate $600 billion Defense Authorization bill, which passed by a vote of 392 to 39.
When asked by Bloomberg News about whether the process has been secretive, Obey bluntly replied “You’re damn right it has because if it’s done in the public it would never get done.” He wanted to “avoid his colleagues’ ‘pontificating’on the content of the legislation” because “that’s what politicians do when this stuff is done in full view of the press.” He said “we’ve done this the old fashioned way by brokering agreements in order to get things done and I make no apology for it.”
“It is not surprising that taxpayers hold Congress in such abysmal regard. At this fragile time, when taxpayers are facing unprecedented economic pressures and uncertainty, Congress has made a mockery of the federal budget process and cannot be taken seriously when it preens about accountability and transparency. In my years in Washington, I have rarely seen a bigger sham of the legislative process,” Schatz concluded.
The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste is the lobbying arm of Citizens Against Government Waste, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.
There is something inherently wrong when a proposal is presented and voted on, before someone could even read and digest the bill (take a look – it is 357 pages and over 10MB file size). Furthermore, in this bill is buried the pet hundreds of projects of these politicians who love to spend our money.
David Obey had 65 projects in 2008 (last year), totaling $97.5 million. Out of 435 members of the House he ranked 14th for earmarks.
Filed under: Election 2008, Government and relief efforts, Politics | 1 Comment
Tags: Appropriations, Bail out, bailout, David Obey, Earmarks, House Appropriations Committee, John Boehner, Read the Bill, Secrecy, Transparency, wall street bailout