John prefer to champion earmarks instead of address all the issues that now face us -from housing, economy, health care to education and gas prices that do significantly make up the federal budget. It grand stand on empty issues that don't improve our status or save money but does distract from the real issues.
Only since the Democrats took control of the House has Kline been against earmarks. Prior to that, Kline was all for them including Alaska's bridge to nowhere. Under scrutiny it appears that Kline's stance on earmark is a way to vote against bills that would otherwise help our communities.
There's no better indication of this obstructionist stance than Kline's vote regarding earmark reform legislation in January of 2007 (when the Democrats took control). In the 2007 the Democratic 'earmark' reform bill would require any bill with earmarks contain the name of a legislator who introduced the inserted earmark, tax or tariff benefit be included in a report attached to that bill. Instead of voting for reform, Kline voted against the House Resolution 6 on January 5, 2007 .
To date the earmark process has been an efficient way for congress to fund small projects around the country that would not warrant the costly and lengthy process of separate bills. When done openly, the process allows for scrutiny of the merits of these projects and puts the proposing legislator in the position of defending their request as well as recording it for the public.
Total congressional earmarks for fiscal year 2008 were worth $18.3 billion. The Department of Defense appropriations bill gobbled up $7.9 billion of that $18 billion. So, 43% of earmark money—almost half—goes to military “uses” that our military never sought in their own proposed budget! Maybe “earmarks’ for parks, bridges, children’s hospitals, and, yes, children’s museums—analyzed by local leaders—are not a scandal, but a positive function of government.
Which leads us to these conclusions:
- Kline favors earmarks but only if done secretly, without names attached so the public can't truely monitor the process excessives as it was during the GOP lead House...or,
- Kline much like throwing himself under the wheels of partisanship to obstruct funding of such projects like the I35 bridge, wants to blocking all Democratic Legislation regardless who it may help or what it will fund but not saving a single dime of earmarks overall (it will just go to another Congressional district!).
- Kline just needed to have something other than his dismal record to discuss during election time and debates