Thursday, May 31, 2007
Murtha Madness Continues,
Pork Spender Extraordinaire
Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) named Representative John Murtha (D-Pa.) the May Porker of the Month for throwing a temper tantrum and threatening his colleagues over a challenge to a $23 million pet project in the Intelligence Authorization Act for fiscal year 2008.
Rep. Murtha sees Congress as a place where threats and power plays control spending decisions. While pushing the pork-filled 2006 defense appropriations bill through the House last year, Rep. Murtha unleashed his money-hungry wrath upon his colleagues, “If you vote against this bill, you won't have any input at all the next time.” The congressman barrels through legislation while inserting whatever he can to serve himself and his district. Since 2005, Rep. Murtha has obtained a total of $26,877,250 in pork.
Murtha quietly slipped into the Intelligence authorization bill two earmarks costing taxpayers $5.5 million. The beneficiary was a contractor headquartered in Murtha's hometown of Johnstown, Pa., whose executives have been generous political contributors to the powerful 17-term congressman.
This scandalous conduct would be unknown except for reforms by the new Democratic majority. But the remodeled system is not sufficiently transparent to expose in a timely manner machinations of Murtha and fellow earmarkers to his colleagues, much less to the public. It took Republican Rep. Jeff Flake of Arizona, the leading House earmark-buster, to discover the truth.
Jack Murtha, the maestro of imposing personal preferences on the appropriations process, looks increasingly like an embarrassment to Congress and the Democratic Party. But there is no Democratic will to curb Murtha, one of Speaker Nancy Pelosi's closest associates.
Remember - Murtha is the man who proudly proclaims the following:
"Every tax cut I voted against. My wife says, 'You shouldn't say that.'"
- November 2005, Washington Post
The only thing that makes me smile is when the Democrats disappoint their voter base. THAT is ironically funny and satisfying.
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