Yesterday, after President Bush used his sixth-ever veto to squash “a measure to fund education, job training and health programs,” he criticized the fiscal responsibility and spending priorities of “the majority” in Congress:
The majority was elected on a pledge of fiscal responsibility, but so far it’s acting like a teenager with a new credit card.
White House press secretary Dana Perino added that it was “not only the extra spending” that raised White House objections, but “also 2,000 earmarks that the president would like to see stripped out.”
While Bush is trying to cast the majority in Congress as “acting like drunken sailors with federal tax dollars” because of earmarks, he should take notice of who placed the largest earmarks in the bill he just vetoed: Republicans.
According to the November 6 edition of CQ Today, the two largest individual earmarks in the bill were placed by Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY):
However, much of the “pork” Boehner complained about was requested by Republicans. Aside from the “National Programs and Activities,” the single biggest earmark in the Labor-HHS-Education section of the bill belongs to Sen. Richard C. Shelby, R-Ala., who won $9.3 million for the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. The second-largest was requested by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. — $8.4 million for the University of Louisville Research Foundation.
If Bush were serious about spending, he’d take on McConnell and Shelby, but he hasn’t. Instead, he’s playing “pure politics” in an effort to obscure his long record of fiscal irresponsibility.