A test for President Barack Obama is coming up soon.
When campaigning for the presidency, Obama pledged to end earmark spending. As reported earlier this year in Time Magazine: “… both Obama and Republican nominee John McCain tried to outdo each other with their pledges to rid Washington of the notorious pet projects that legislators slip into spending bills. Obama, who authored 2007 legislation to overhaul congressional ethics rules governing lobbying and earmarks, runs a real credibility risk when he makes exceptions to his own rules.”
But did he make a pledge to end earmarks? MediaMatters says he didn’t make a specific pledge. But he certainly criticized the earmark process.
At any rate, a bill loaded with earmarks is heading to the president for his signature. As reported in the New York Times: “The bill includes 1,720 earmarks costing $4.2 billion for lawmakers’ pet projects, according to the watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense.”
Earlier this year, Obama signed a spending bill that contained earmarks. His defenders said that it was “last year’s business.”
Fair enough. Obama inherited certain conditions upon assuming office. But now — at least as far as this spending bill is concerned — it’s all his own doing.
We’ll know soon how Obama really feels about earmark spending.