Republican members of Congress have been shopping around their idea to reinstitute vote bargaining, negotiating or outright retailing for both legislative and administrative earmarks…possibly even Deutschmarks. All because they are finding it hard to cobble together 218 votes to pass any legislation or so they say. This comes on the heals of a new congressional ban on insider trading. I wonder if one has anything to do with the other. Oh well, one window closes and another one opens.
Given that Congress instituted an apparent loosely enforced or partial moratorium on earmarks (still $9.5 billion has managed to leak out) I find this congressional body to be out-of-order and out-of-touch with their bosses. Although that $9.5 billion is down from $16.5 billion it looks as if Washington D.C. has a huge leak in their fiscal plumbing to lose that much money after the tap has supposedly turned off. Hey bureaucrats! You know those buckets you keep telling us your spending is just a drop in? Well in case no one has informed you, those buckets have been overflowing for quite some time now…time to stop those leaks or we’ll all drown in the overflow.
The taxpayers, voters and even the couch-potatoes cashing government checks were appalled by the way congressional members clamored to sell their votes in 2009-2010.
But the votes during that period of time weren’t just sold for earmarks embedded in the legislative acts. Their votes were also bought by using “grant” monies given at point-of-purchase to the Congressperson’s or Senator’s district or state.
Earmarks are easily found when embedded into a bill whereas grants for votes are a stealthy way of making the payoff. The bagmen used to buy votes for ObamaCare, Cap and Trade and Dodd Frank Bills were the Departments of: Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, EPA, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Transportation and Veterans Affairs. These payoffs are called “administrative earmarks”.
An earmark payoff for a vote by any name smells just as foul.
Quid pro quo (something for something) is supposed to be illegal in our Federal Government. How are the citizens of our country to reconcile obvious institutionalized payoffs and corruption for votes on legislation the people have said they don’t want?
I’m sure that these “honorable” men and women have all covered their butts sufficiently so prosecution of their corruption isn’t a remote possibility.
Elected officials selling their vote in exchange for someonelse’s future vote or for grant funds or for any other reason is simply corruption with a nod and a wink from a smiley face.
- Report finds spike in earmarks to Democratic lawmakers during controversial votes (foxnews.com)
- Public projects, private interests (washingtonpost.com)
- Group sues over ‘agency earmarks’ data (politico.com)
- Reporters’ findings prove the need for more transparency on who benefits from congressional earmarks (breitbart.com)
- Senatorial Tragedy: “Without congressional earmarks, we find ourselves at the mercy of the bureaucrats…” (reason.com)
- Morning Bell: ‘Buying’ House Votes for Unpopular Legislation (Heritage.org)