Obama’s Earmark Dilemma

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					Obama’s Earmark Dilemma                                                                                  3/6/09 5:18 PM

 Obama’s Earmark Dilemma

 Blog - Don Irvine | By Don | March 5, 2009

 President Obama is between a rock and a hard place as he tries to curb wasteful spending but not risk angering
 Democratic leaders in Congress.

 From the Politico

       On Tuesday, one of the House’s old bulls sent a warning to President Barack Obama on earmarks: Don’t
       pick this fight.

       On Wednesday, two of the Senate’s highest-profile reformers suggested: Don’t go wobbly on us now.

       In the context of the trillions of dollars being thrown around in Washington these days, the renewed fight
       over earmarks is relatively small potatoes.

       But the conflicting taunts vividly illustrate some of the pressures from divergent constituencies on the
       new president — pressures that are proving a good bit harder to reconcile in office than they were on the
       campaign trail.

       Obama can either walk in lockstep with legislative leaders of his own party, people he needs to push his
       agenda. Or he can keep the good-government credentials that are part of his public image.

       But it will be tough to do both.

       Obama has signaled that he’ll sign the omnibus spending bill, with all its 9,000-plus earmarks, but his top
       aides are saying that they still intend to curb the practice — or, as White House press secretary Robert
       Gibbs put it this week, “draw some very clear lines.”

 Obama is becoming the master of doublespeak but that was much easier to do when there were no real
 decisions to be made. Now that he is actually having to back up what he says he is being trapped by his own
 words. As with the no lobbyists pledge though he could always issue a spending waiver and make it all seem
 okay.                                             Page 1 of 1

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