Friday, May 27, 2011

Republicans Packed Defense Spending Bill With Earmarks, Says Sen. Claire McCaskill

Republicans Packed Defense Spending Bill With Earmarks, Says Sen. Claire McCaskill

One of the Senate's top campaigners for good government is charging House Republicans with quietly loading their new defense policy bill with earmarks that are currently banned by the GOP's own rules.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has pledged to keep all earmarks out of the Republican version of the Defense Authorization Act. In a letter to Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), the new chairman of the House committee, and its top Democrat, Rep. Adam Smith (Wash.), the Missouri senator claims the proposed bill "has obviously been structured to circumvent the earmark ban adopted by the House of Representatives." And McCaskill writes that if she can't keep those earmarks out of the bill, she'll make each one public.

But McCaskill claims the House committee has proposed a billion dollar "slush fund" called the Mission Force Enhancement Transfer Fund, that would take money cut from other programs and consolidate it in the fund to pay for the "pet projects" inserted into the House defense policy bill.

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