SOTU: Bush Blasts Earmarks

Updated
 

By Andrew Noyes, National Journal’s Beltway Blogroll

Earmarks really irk President Bush. In his State of the Union speech, the president noted that special interest items are often stealthily slipped into bills “when not even C-SPAN is watching.” As if C-SPAN could keep track. In 2005, the number of earmarks grew to more than 13,000 worth an estimated $1.8 billion. Bush said over 90 percent of the pork never makes it to the House or Senate floor. The language is tucked into committee reports “that are not even part of the bill that arrives on my desk,” Bush bemoaned. “The time has come to end this practice.”

Lawmakers seem to be a step ahead of the president. One of the first orders of business in the new Congress was the House adoption of rules that put new restrictions on earmarks. Those pork plugs will be in effect for the duration of the 110th Congress. The Senate followed suit in amending its operations.

To underscore the problem, watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste identified 9,963 pork projects costing $29 billion in the 11 fiscal 2006 appropriations bills. They included $1 million for the Waterfree Urinal Conservation Initiative and $500,000 for the Sparta Teapot Museum in Sparta, N.C.

SOTU: Bush Blasts Earmarks

Updated