Earmarking the can to kick down the road

If I hear one more congressional numbskull refer to Wednesday night’s congressional approval to fund the federal government and avert a government default as “kicking the can down the road,” I’m going to scream.

Of all the elected officials from Kansas, only Sen. Jerry Moran and Second District Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins voted yes to re-open the government and increase the debt ceiling so the government wouldn’t default on its payments.

Third District Congressman Kevin Yoder, R-Overland Park, who once was a Democrat, voted no and said, “The bill voted on in the House does very little to address ongoing spending problems in Washington, and only kicks the can down the road again. (EDITOR’S NOTE: ARRRRRGH!!!!!) I could not support this approach. We must work together to get federal spending under control, and to ensure our budget balances, so that our children and grandchildren are in a better fiscal situation than we currently are.”

I must admit I voted for Kevin Yoder, had faith in Kevin Yoder, trusted Kevin Yoder, but am deeply disappointed in Kevin Yoder. He recites verbatim all the right-wing, ultra-conservative, TEA Party, Koch brothers talking points when it comes to political rhetoric. He says he listens to constituents. I’m thinking he listens more to those who supply him with enormous amounts of money for his political war chest.

But I also must admit, I would have cast a no vote as well, but for a very different reason than Yoder. I would have voted not because of the amendment attached to the bill by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. He made out like a bandit in this deal.

McConnell, according to several reports, was able to include language in the government funding bill that provides nearly $3 billion for a dam project in his home state of Kentucky. the money is to be used by the Army Corps of Engineers to construct locks on the Olmstead Dam and Lock Authority Project on the Ohio River.

The project, according to an investigation by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, should have been completed several years ago but has run millions of dollars over budget and now isn’t scheduled to be finished until 2024.

Earmarks, or pork barrel amendments added to legislation, now are illegal. So how did this pork barrel project get included in the bill? Initially, $755 million was designated to fund the project, and because of that, the increase to nearly $3 billion, technically, is not defined as an earmark.

It will be interesting to see which elected scallywag will get paid off for their support after the first of the year when it’s time to again “kick the can down the road.”

One Response

  1. Chuck. My thoughts exactly. Mitch mcConnell is a career politician who games the system . The Dems and Republicans are all the same. Yoder needs to quiet his talk and deliver some results. Get into the budget and get some real work done instead of fighting battles that were never to be won.

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