According to an editorial in today’s Wall Street Journal, House Members inserted one loophole after another in the recently passed lobbyist-reform bill.
These lawmakers turned a blind eye to polls showing that voters have absolutely had it with earmarks. One recent poll indicates earmark reform is the single most important issue facing Congress right now.
The WSJ writes, “When the House passed its lobbyist-reform bill last month, we praised the earmark transparency provision as a rare bright spot. Maybe we spoke too soon. Outsiders have now had a chance to inspect the fine print, and if Sarbanes-Oxley were this full of loopholes, few businesses would complain.
…Oh, and earmarks directed to state and local governments are also exempt from the requirement under some circumstances. How big a loophole is that? “It could be as big as the appropriators are clever,” Representative Jeff Flake (R., Ariz.) told us. “And they’re pretty clever.” Congressman Flake has been fighting the earmark tide since long before it became a cause celebre, and he’s hoping the loopholes can be narrowed when the House and Senate sit down to agree on a common version of the bill.”
These folks in Washington ignore the wishes of the electorate at their own peril. Come November, some of these bacon-lovers may be browsing through the “Help Wanted” ads.
Maybe they can get a job with Oscar Meyer…