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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Is There an Earmarks Reform Meeting on the Hill Today?

Lots of buzz on Capitol Hill today about a somewhat mysterious meeting allegedly scheduled for 4:00 p.m. that should be of interest on the Porkbusters front. It's supposedly a meeting of the "Senate Appropriations Committee Task Force on Earmark Reform," a panel that I've not previously heard of but which sounds like it might be a positive development.

My first reaction upon hearing of this gathering was, of course, to ask if the meeting is open to the public. When I called the press secretary of Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Sen. Thad Cochran, R-MS, Jenny Manley said she was unaware of such a meeting and didn't think her boss was involved in it. Cochran's Senate office can be reached at 202-224-5054.

So does anybody else out there know any more? If there is indeed such a task force and it really is devoted to ridding Congress of the Culture of Earmarks, that is big news and folks need to know about it.

More here at the Porkbusters web site maintained by the illustrious Truth Laid Bear.


Speaking of the Culture of Earmarks, USA Today breaks a significant story today about the apparent role of a senior aide to Sen. Arlen Specter, R-PA, in securing earmarks that benefitted her lobbyist husband.

Specter is best known these days as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committtee, but the Pennsylvania Republican also has a long history of, shall we say, interest in earmarking federal funds to specific projects.

UPDATE: The Meeting That Wasn't Was

Well now, after all we were told last week that the secret meeting wasn't real, now it turns out that it was. Townhall.com's Tim Chapman has the details, including a link to a Congressional Quarterly story about the meeting.