Remember when all of those people were crowing about how the Teabaggers had forced Porky Mitch into pledging to ditch his earmarks that he loves so much in order to not be challenged as minority leader? And people actually believed that this would happen?
Yes, some people are really really really really gullible.
Here’s what McConnell said about the new omnibus spending bill today:
“It’s completely inappropriate; I’m vigorously in opposition to it,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said before vowing that Republicans would oppose the measure without significant changes.
Way to stand strong against all those earmarks, Mitch!
Oh by the way, here’s what’s in the bill:
But the spending plan contains hundreds of millions of dollars worth of earmarks requested by Republicans, including from Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) himself.
Earlier this year, McConnell asked for $4 million for marijuana eradication efforts by the Kentucky National Guard; $1 million for construction of the Kentucky Blood Center Building; and $650,000 for Advanced Genetic Technologies, a DNA research center at the University of Kentucky.
Got an answer for that, Mitch?
When reporters asked about his earmark requests Tuesday, McConnell said he was “actively working to defeat” the massive omnibus bill since the Senate never had a chance to take up individual appropriations bills.
“I think there are many Senate members who have provisions in it for their states who are also actively working to defeat it. This bill should not go forward,” he said.
House Republicans have tapped Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) to take the chairmanship of the House Appropriations Committee, setting up an old bull appropriator with a history of earmarking to deliver on the anti-spending tea party platform that carried the GOP to victory this fall.
The House GOP Steering committee selected him for the powerful position Tuesday. The entire Republican conference is expected to confirm his bid Wednesday.
Rogers has been a member of the appropriations panel since 1983, adept at securing earmarks for his district. In his bid for the position, he promised the GOP he’d overhaul the committee, ending the earmark process. He’s vowed to strip funding for health care.
There was a 10% chance that earmarks would end before this. Now, it’s probably 2%.
Well, not literally his right hand. But something just as important to him: his pork diet.
The Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, a longtime defender of the Congressional authority over federal spending, said on Monday that he would support a proposed ban on earmarks, the lawmaker-directed spending items, in the next Congress.
“I have thought about these things long and hard over the past few weeks,” Mr. McConnell said. “I’ve talked with my members. I’ve listened to them. Above all, I have listened to my constituents. And what I’ve concluded is that on the issue of Congressional earmarks, as the leader of my party in the Senate, I have to lead first by example.”
Mr. McConnell nonetheless made clear that he still believed that earmarks were not necessarily synonymous with wasteful spending. “Make no mistake,” he said. “I know the good that has come from the projects I have helped support throughout my state.”
“But,” he continued, “there is simply no doubt that the abuse of this practice has caused Americans to view it as a symbol of the waste and out-of-control spending that every Republican in Washington is determined to fight. And unless people like me show the American people that we’re willing to follow through on small or even symbolic things, we risk losing them on our broader efforts to cut spending and rein in government.”
One: I’ll believe it when I see it.
Two: more proof that Mitch McConnell believes in nothing except for his own political power and survival. I guess the 2014 primary isn’t as far away as we think…
When Rand Paul starting facing heat on his Gitmo stance from the far right-wing last year, his backtracking from his previous stances was immediate, continuing with his fancy Super Bowl ad on Sunday.
Rand Paul also decided that it would be politically advantageous to stop ripping Mitch McConnell at every opportunity as an example of what’s wrong with the Republican Party, and start kissing his ass.
Now Rand Paul is facing heat in Eastern Kentucky for his previous attacks on our Pork friendly hypocrite-conservative representatives, particularly Hal Rogers. In fact, this lead to him being “not welcome” to the Pulaski County Republican dinner last week.
The question going forward: will Rand Paul once again make a calculated political “adjustment”, or will he stand true to his principles and keep speaking out about all pork-barrel spending, no matter who is receiving it?
What say you, Paulbots?
Also, why has no one in the media asked Rand Paul if he applauds Obama’s recent call to cut billions in federal subsidies to private companies? Mitch and Rogers and Chandler all denounced it, but I haven’t heard Paul say one peep about these big government handouts being cut. Does Rand Paul favor this?
You know that Jim Bunning dude? The hero of the Teabagger brigade? The guy who fights wasteful federal spending and earmarks and such? The same federal spending and pork that the teabaggers are enraaaaaaged by?
Oh yea, that’s all well and good if you’re just Jim Bunning or Geoff Davis repaying big campaign contributors. John Cheves (who else?) brings the goods:
Campaign donor gets $3.9 million earmark in defense bill
U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning and U.S. Rep. Geoff(erson) Davis earmarked $3.92 million in the defense spending bill signed into law Dec. 19 for American Freedom Fuels, a Lexington company owned by Robert Addington, who is also a major campaign donor.
Addington, who with his brothers founded and ran several large coal companies, has given about $35,000 in combined political donations since 2005 to Bunning and Davis, both Kentucky Republicans.
The earmark is just a small slice of the $636 billion defense spending bill, which included several billion dollars in pet projects added by members of Congress. Bunning alone sponsored or co-sponsored more than $32 million in earmarks, including this one.
Oh noes! What will the Teabaggers say? What will Rand Paul say? Is pork-barrel spending in defense of Coal Sexy Liberty a vice?
As the recession drives more people into the Kentucky AIDS Drug Assistance Program, federal funding has stagnated and state funding has disappeared. Currently, 1,277 people are enrolled in the program. Nearly 100 people are on a waiting list that started in June.
“We have 20 to 30 people coming in every month, and everyone who comes in goes on the waiting list,” said Sigga Jagne, the state’s HIV/AIDS program manager. “Everyone who is on the waiting list now, we don’t know how long they’re going to be there. Nobody is coming off the list at this point.”…
Demand for assistance from the drug program is rocketing during the recession as Kentuckians lose their jobs and insurance, Jagne said.
…federal funding has dropped from about $4.8 million in 2005 to $4.5 million this year. State funding — about $250,000 a year — ended in 2007
Amazing, but somehow not surprising. Hard to contribute money to a political cause when you are worried about paying for lifesaving medications. Or food. Or shelter.