Coburn to fight Iraq bill pork

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N. Z. Bear at Victory Caucus has put together an easy-to-navigate view of the Senate version of the emergency supplemental appropriations bill, S. 965. On the left sidebar, you'll see a list of projects stuffed into the bill. (For example, "Provision that extends the availability by a year $3.5 million in funding for guided tours of the Capitol. Also a provision allows transfer of funds from holiday ornament sales in the Senate gift shop.") You can click on each one, and it will take you to the actual language of the Senate bill.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) intends to force a vote on removing several of the provisions which are clearly not unanticipated emergencies, disclosing any earmarks pertaining to the bill, and . According to his office, he has filed the following amendments to the bill:

648 Strike emergency funding for the 2008 political party conventions
649 Strike University of Vermont earmark
656 Public disclosure of all reports provided to the appropriations committees by this Act
657 Offset Ag emergency funding

The $100 million in funding for the 2008 political party conventions is to reimburse cities and states for the cost of security for events that are over a year away. This emergency appropriation is supposed to be for the current fiscal year, which ends September 2007. Coburn said there was no place for convention security in a bill funding military activities. "Members will have to make a difficult choice between booze and balloons or body armor and bullets."

National conventions are a lot of fun. They are a great opportunity for party activists, donors, elected officials, and consultants to renew acquaintance every four years. They are a great way to kick off the final push for the general election. But they don't serve a national purpose and they shouldn't be subsidized with tax dollars.

If the absence of money for security means that some big names stay away and only C-SPAN covers the conventions on TV, so be it. If it means that the parties have to scale down the conventions to be able to afford to hold them, that would be grand. Perhaps national conventions will once again be meetings where party business is transacted, rather than four-day telethons.

I don't expect Coburn to get a majority on any of these votes, but I'm glad he's at least trying, and I hope he manages to get his colleagues on the record.

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1 Comments

Twatch said:

Some accuse Halliburton of profiteering during War time, which is a crime, I don't see the difference in the Political profiteering in S. 965. It's criminal, carry on Senator Coburn.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on March 27, 2007 9:59 PM.

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