So, this is the change that ya'll voted for, the "different way of doing business" that Barack Obama promised to bring to Washington?
After the House this week passed the controversial "casp and trade" legislation that is supposed to reduce greenhouse gases (at great cost to consumers), Speaker Nancy Pelosi was scraping around for every vote she could find, even among Democrats.
Now, we find out (here) that she had to hand out billions of dollars of pork to get the votes she
needed. Said the New York Times story:
WASHINGTON -- As the most ambitious energy and climate-change
legislation ever introduced in Congress made its way to a floor vote last
Friday, it grew fat with compromises, carve-outs, concessions and
out-and-out gifts intended to win the votes of wavering lawmakers and
the support of powerful industries.
The deal making continued right up until the final minutes, with the bill's co-author Representative Henry A. Waxman,
Democrat of California, doling out billions of dollars in promises on
the House floor to secure the final votes needed for passage.
The bill was freighted with hundreds of pages of special-interest
favors, even as environmentalists lamented that its greenhouse-gas
reduction targets had been whittled down.
Some of the prizes were relatively small, like the $50 million hurricane research center for a freshman lawmaker from Florida.
were huge and threatened to undermine the environmental goals of the
bill, like a series of compromises reached with rural and farm-state
members that would funnel billions of dollars in payments to
agriculture and forestry interests.
Automakers, steel companies,
natural gas drillers, refiners, universities and real estate agents all
got in on the fast-moving action.
Turns out that one of the biggest beneficiaries was our own Rep. Bobby Rush, the South Side Democrat. Said the story:
Liberal Democrats got a piece, too. Representative Bobby Rush, Democrat
of Illinois, withheld his support for the bill until a last-minute
accord was struck to provide nearly $1 billion for energy-related jobs
and job training for low-income workers and new subsidies for making
public housing more energy-efficient
no word yet exactly what bacon Rush hopes to bring home. No doubt he
will be heralded for all the "good" that it will do for us. Never mind
that it has jammed up President Barack Obama, who would have to decide
whether to veto the bill if it reached his desk in its present format.
This is the presidential candidate, you'll recall, who gave his word
that he would go over spending bills line by line to kill this kind of
Will we ever actuallly change the way Congress does
business? Not unless Rush's constituents in Chicago renounce this
hypocrisy, which, we know, will never happen.