Senate Republicans took a lot of heat yesterday for stuffing a bill with millions of their own earmarks, then trying to claim they oppose earmarks. but Republicans’ earmark hypocrisy is even starker when you compare what they are saying in Washington, DC to what they are saying to their constituents back home.
In D.C., DeMint Decries Earmarks: “Americans want Congress to shut down the earmark favor factory, and next week I believe House and Senate Republicans will unite to stop pork barrel spending…Instead of spending time chasing money for pet projects, lawmakers will be able to focus on balancing the budget, reforming the tax code and repealing the costly health care takeover.” [The Hill, 11/9/10]
…But In South Carolina, DeMint Defends Earmarks: “U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint said fellow senators are ‘playing politics’ in blocking his colleague’s efforts to secure a $400,000 earmark to study deepening Charleston Harbor.” [Herald Online, 9/11/10]
In D.C. , Cornyn Poses As An Anti-Earmark Champion: “I believe the public discontent can be accurately sourced, and Congressional earmarking process has become a symbol for wasteful and undisciplined federal spending. Earlier this month, I joined a bipartisan group calling for a one year moratorium on all earmarks. That effort failed. We missed a major opportunity to show we are serious about tightening our Congressional belts during a difficult economic period.” [Everyone Loses in the Earmark Game, 3/31/08]
… But In Texas, Cornyn Downplays Significance Of His Earmark Opposition, Emphasizes That It’s Only Temporary: Cornyn told the Dallas Morning News that the earmark ban, “’basically is a timeout while we reassess this whole earmarking process, which has been in some instances abused,’ said Texas Sen. John Cornyn, a member of the GOP leadership… Cornyn, like some other moratorium supporters, said the policy should not and won’t last indefinitely but agreed that for now, ‘it will have an impact on Texas, just as it will have an impact on the rest of the country.’” [Dallas Morning News, 11/26/10]?
… And Requests Millions In Earmarks For FY2011. [Senator Cornyn FY2011 Appropriations Requests]
In D.C., Thune Lambasts Earmarks: “The bill is loaded up with pork projects, and it shouldn’t get a vote. The bill was crafted behind closed doors, and it hasn’t gone through the proper oversight or the proper channels.” [Press Conference, 12/15/10]
In South Dakota, Thune Defends Pet Projects: “He has backed similar moratoriums in the past but the proposed 2011 spending bills Congress will consider in the coming weeks include almost 30 Thune-requested projects, such as money for highway projects, water systems and safety programs on Indian reservations… ‘If you include [South Dakota] projects like Lewis & Clark, you end up costing taxpayers much more in inflation and lost economic opportunities,’ Larson said Monday. ‘We applaud responsible efforts to rein in earmark spending, but if that effort wrongly includes authorized projects like Lewis & Clark, it’s counterproductive.’ Thune agrees. ‘There are ways that you can do this that really legitimize Congress spending money, and one is authorized projects that went through the normal process and passed the House and the Senate,’ he said last week. ‘To me, that’s a very different thing than an earmark that gets dropped into an appropriations bill in a conference committee that hasn’t passed the House and the Senate.’” [Argus Leader, 11/16/10]