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Monday, July 30, 2007

Reid/Pelosi Lied Again

So much for Open and Honest.

Remember all those promises before the elections? HEH.

Porkbusters obtained the latest version of the "Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007’’, and as expected, the Democratic leadership has worked some funny business to dilute some of the Act's key provisions.

Based on what we're hearing from those who would know, key changes include:

  • The old version (passed by the Senate) required conference / committee reports to list all earmarks and required the chairman of the relevant committee to distribute the earmark list. But the new version of the bill allows the Majority Leader (as opposed to the Senate parliamentarian, a more objective judge) to determine whether or not a conference report complies with the disclosure requirements.
  • The new version removes the requirement for earmark lists posted online to be in searchable format.
  • The new version removes the provision that prevented any bill from being considered at all prior to the disclosure of earmarks; now the text only prohibits a formal motion to proceed, which leaves open a procedural loophole that would allow bills to slip through without disclosure.
  • The old version prohibited earmarks which benefit a Member, their staff, or their family/their staff’s family. The new version waters that down and only prohibits earmarks that would “only” affect those parties --- which means so long as you can make a case that your shiny new project affects at least one person other than you positively, you’re all set.

PDF can be found here, take a look for yourself at how "open" or "honest" this was.

Tapscott's comments:

Some of my Senate sources have gotten a copy of the 107 page "ethics and earmark reform" bill crafted by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

What they are finding in it confirms what I've suspected for months - Reid and Pelosi are for the most gutting concrete earmark and ethics reform while preserving just enough of the appearance of reform to be able to claim to have fulfilled their 2006 campaign promises.

Put another way - it's all a charade.

No big surprise actually, except to those that believed their lies were promises that would be kept.

Analysis from Captain's Quarters is, as usual, excellent.

Netflix, Inc.