As soon as Rep. Bart Supak (D-Mich), Jerry Costello (D-Ill) and the others decided that DemCare was in the public interest, lots of people started asking: What did it to sell out their pro-life consciences to buy their votes?
Of the eight lawmakers whose 2010 requests were available for comparison, five requested more money this week than they did a year ago: Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Ill., Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper, D-Pa., Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., Brad Ellsworth, D-Ind., Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, and Rep. Charles Wilson, D-Ohio.
The eleven members were the focus of high level pressure by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats because they threatened to vote against the health care reform bill, whichpassed the House on Sunday, March 21, by a seven vote margin. Granting earmark requests are one of the ways leadership can encourage members to vote their way.
Stupak requested more than $578 million in earmarks, including $125 million for a replacement lock on the Sault Ste. Marie, $25.6 million to build a federal courthouse in Marquette, Mich., $15 million to repaint the Mackinac Bridge and $800,000 to preserve the Quincy Mining Company smelter near Hancock in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Despite a newly enacted ban on earmarks to for-profit firms, Stupak requested a total of $52 million for companies in his district out of the $65.9 million he requested from the Defense Appropriations bill.
Requests from Costello increased the most, but that was due to a $1.35 billion request to fund federal program called Impact Aid, which assists local educational agencies. Costello, along with 44 other lawmakers, signed a letter sent to the Appropriations Committee requesting the funds. Earlier this month, House Republicans decided to forgo earmarks for the 2011 appropriations process. House Democrats barred earmarks to for-profit companies, which mostly impacts contractors seeking earmarks from the Defense Appropriations bill.
So, here's the deal: To enact DemCare, which a majority of Americans clearly don't want, another $4 billion is being sought in earmarks, which most Americans don't want. And Washington and its media acolytes have trouble figuring out why Americans and "Tea Baggers" are angry?