Thursday, December 9, 2010
Defying President Obama, House Democrats voted Thursday not to bring up the tax package that he negotiated with Republicans in its current form."This message today is very simple: That in the form that it was negotiated, it is not acceptable to the House Democratic caucus. It's as simple as that," said Democratic Congressman Chris Van Hollen.
Rep. Hal Rogers may have sworn off earmarks as he lobbied his way into the powerful House Appropriations Committee chairmanship, but there's a reason he's earned the nickname "Prince of Pork."
Over the past two years, Rogers has requested $175,613,300 in earmarks, including funding for a cheetah protection nonprofit that his daughter works for.
That earmark figure, compiled by the LegiStorm database, counts only the 98 earmarks for which Rogers was the sole sponsor and not the 37 that he co-sponsored with other members. All told, the longtime appropriator has requested $246 million in earmarks over the past two years. On Wednesday, House Republicans formally granted Rogers the Appropriations chairmanship.
Throughout his 27 years on the committee, Rogers has left a trail of earmarks, including a sparkling airport terminal in Somerset, Ky., that gets very little traffic, as well as a homeland security research center.
In coming here, these new comers, from that time a couple hundred years ago and to this day, by coming with that optimism and hope and commitment to a better future for the next generation, they made America more American. So tonight, we have an opportunity to identify with the aspirations of our founders," Pelosi said on the House floor prior to the vote.
Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize winner in economics and an influential New York Times columnist, also has a blog, "The Conscience of a Liberal." On ABC's "This Week" (Nov. 14), during a discussion on balancing the federal budget against alarming deficits, he proclaimed the way to solve this problem is through deeply cost-effective health-care rationing.
"Some years down the pike," he said, "we're going to get the real solution, which is going to be a combination of death panels and sales taxes." That would mean the U.S. Debt Reduction Commission "should have endorsed the panel that was part of the (Obama) health-care reform."