McClatchy: “GOP hates earmarks – except the ones its members sponsor”
WASHINGTON — Republicans are expected to deliver a daylong rant Wednesday against Democratic spending legislation, yet the bill is loaded with thousands of pet projects that Republican lawmakers inserted.
Rep. Ralph Hall, R-Texas, included $142,500 for emergency repairs to the Sam Rayburn Library and Museum in Bonham, Texas. Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., joined state colleagues to include $1.425 million for Nevada “statewide bus facilities.” The top two Republicans on Congress’ money committees also inserted local projects.
In all, an estimated $3.8 billion worth of specific projects, called “earmarks,” are in the $410 billion spending bill that the House of Representatives is to vote on Wednesday. Easy passage is expected. The Senate is expected to act soon, too, since federal agencies will run out of money a week from Friday unless new funds are enacted.
House Democrats estimate that Republicans inserted 40 percent of the earmarks in the bill. An independent budget watchdog group, Taxpayers for Common Sense, said the 60-40 Democratic-Republican ratio followed historical patterns.