Remember that $48 billion earmark request from Congressman Emanuel Cleaver we told you about last week?
The Congressman’s hometown paper has taken notice notice, and they’re not happy.
From the Southeast Missourian:
Rep. Cleaver has proposed a $48 billion earmark
When absurdity gives way to hilarity, you must be talking about politics.
In the midst of a colossal global concern for the economic stability of our great nation, Emanuel Cleaver, Missouri’s 5th Congressional District representative, has one small earmark on his wish list that deserves some attention.
Cleaver has listed a new earmark — one of several — and he promises to “fight for every one.” But this is a whopping $48 billion package that must go down as the grandaddy of all earmarks.
For perspective, $48 billion is around the amount of money that will be spent this year on the entire National Intelligence Program.
UPDATE: Taxpayers Against Earmarks has now confirmed that the Congressman DID NOT REQUEST the earmark.
In fact, the Congressman’s office believes it is an example of how the earmark process worked — because the Congressman vetted the request, and refused to submit it to the House Appropriations Committee. We applaud the Congressman for rejecting the aptly-named “grandaddy of all earmarks.”
That said, we also learned that Congressman Cleaver did obtain 16 earmarks, worth approximately $17 million, in the massive “omnibus” appropriations bill being considered in the Senate right now — and we are working hard to defeat the bill.
For a little more background information… We had noted in our press release, before the joint earmark request database was announced, that we tried but could not confirm whether the Congressman had actually requested the $48 billion earmark, or whether it was simply requested of his office.
As the Wall Street Journal reports, Congressman Cleaver is one of three House Democrats (the others are Rep. Marcia Fudge and Rep. Carolyn Cheeck Kilpatrick) that “post details of all the earmarks requested by constitutents,” but don’t “say which ones they actually sought.” You can understand the confusion.
We appreciate Rep. Cleaver had the good sense to not actually put this forward. This is just one example of the confusion surrounding federal spending – and reiterates our call for reform.