Posted on March 11, 2009. Filed under: News And Politics... |

Obama has announced that there will now be "new rules of the road" regarding earmarks.  I’d say it’s too little, too late, and I’ll believe it when I see it.  He campaigned saying "absolutely no earmarks", and his bills have been chock full of them.  It seems this is his way of doing damage control so his approval rating won’t dip down as far as the stock market has.  Meanwhile, they’re not pulling in the reins on their own pet projects (see video below).  Obama will have no say because as I’ve said many times before, he is the Democratic puppet.  They wanted him in as president so he could do their bidding, and he is doing just that.

(CNN) — President Obama on Wednesday will talk about new guidelines aimed at cutting down the number of earmarks in appropriations legislation, one day after the Senate passed a spending bill with nearly 9,000 earmarks, his administration said.

President Obama on Wednesday will announce new "rules of the road" on earmarks, the White House says.

Earmarks are unrelated pet projects that members of Congress insert in spending bills.

Some lawmakers have urged Obama to veto the $410 billion omnibus spending bill — saying it goes against the president’s campaign pledge to bring an end to wasteful spending.

White House officials said Obama will sign the bill to keep key government agencies funded, but the president will lay out the new guidelines on earmarks as a not-so-subtle threat that he could veto future spending bills that do not comply with his objectives. Watch what’s in the spending bill »

Obama may sign the bill into law behind closed doors rather than make a public show of it, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said.

"Although it’s not perfect, the president will sign the legislation but demonstrate for all involved rules moving forward that he thinks can make this process work a little bit better," Gibbs said at his daily briefing with reporters.

White House officials have tried to dismiss the pork-laden legislation as "last year’s business" that Obama is dealing with reluctantly.

Gibbs added that "over the course of the president’s tenure in Washington, dozens of those bills will come to his desk" and Obama wants to make clear "that there will be some new rules of the road" for lawmakers to follow.

Top Democrats, including House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland, have suggested lawmakers do not appreciate being dictated to on an issue that is a congressional prerogative.

Asked last week about the administration’s plan to put forth guidelines to overhaul earmarks, Hoyer said flatly, "I don’t think the White House has the ability to tell us what to do."

He paused and quipped to reporters, "I hope you all got that down."

Given the sensitivity of the issue with fellow Democrats, senior White House aides were reluctant Tuesday evening to preview any of the new "rules of the road" the president will lay out. Obama’s schedule for Wednesday includes a public announcement on "earmark reform" in the morning.

Obama’s budget director made a vow Sunday that the president will bring a halt to pork-laden bills.

"[Such bills] will not happen when the president has the full legislative and appropriations process in place," Peter Orszag, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, told CNN’s "State of the Union With John King."

He argued that the White House had little choice but to support the omnibus spending bill, which it inherited from the previous administration.

"This is like your relief pitcher coming into the ninth inning and wanting to redo the whole game," Orszag said. "Next year we’re going to be the starting pitcher, and the game’s going to be completely different."

But House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Virginia, rejected this argument, noting that Obama had vowed to take action against earmarks during the presidential campaign.

"If you make a promise, people expect that you live up to it. And that’s why this administration’s refusal to go in and change this bill, I think, is a false position," Cantor told "State of the Union."

"There is no way anyone could take what Mr. Orszag has said with any credibility."

House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Tuesday that Obama can’t just say the bill is last year’s business. "I’ve asked the president to veto this bill," he said.

"Listen, this is a new Congress, and this is a new president."




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