Then-Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., one year ago this week, swooped in from the campaign trail to — along with then-Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. — vote for an amendment to impose a one-year moratorium on earmarks for fiscal year 2009.Let's be sure we are clear here.
All three then-presidential candidates voted for the amendment,offered by Sen. Jim DeMint, R-SC.
It failed: 71 NAYs, 29 YEAs.
Candidate Obama said then "we can no longer accept a process that doles out earmarks based on a member of Congress’ seniority, rather than the merit of the project. We can no longer accept an earmarks process that has become so complicated to navigate that a municipality or non-profit group has to hire high-priced D.C. lobbyists to do it. And we can no longer accept an earmarks process in which many of the projects being funded fail to address the real needs of our country."
Today, of course, President Obama will sign into law more than 8,000 earmarks for FY 2009, part of the $410 billion omnibus spending bill.
One year ago, Obama took a timeout from his campaign to crusade against earmarks under the guise of fiscal responsibility.
Today, despite his power under the Constitution to veto an earmark-filled appropriations bill, President Obama approved it.
Anyone who believed Barack Obama would usher in a new brand of politics should be ashamed of him right now.