We (honest conservatives, anyway) know that the Democrats love to spend our money. The problem is, the Republicans love it, too. Weren't Democrats supposed to bring honesty, ethics and openness to Congress? That was Speaker Nancy Pelosi's promise upon taking control. But after a little more than six months on the job, the new majority is going back on its word. transparency on earmarks appears to be just a farce.
In each house of Congress, Democrats are showing signs of returning to business as usual. In the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid has been holding up the ethics reform package because he wants to strip it of a earmark transparency provision that he and 97 other senators voted for in January.
Despite facing pressure from his own leadership, conservative Sen. Jim DeMint (R.-S.C.) won't relent, insisting the language be preserved. It's causing all sorts of heacaches for Reid, who is now facing criticism from liberal advocacy groups that don;t like the fact he refuses to release the text of the legislation.
The dirty little secret on Capitol Hill is that the text of the legislation was written months ago by a handful of people in a smoke-filled room. That's right. A bill that's supposed to bring ethics reform to Congress is itself antithetical to transparency.
Trouble is that Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R.Ky.) might just go along with it. According to Roll Call ($), conservatives fear that the consequences of Republican capitulation could be devestating. "For our leadership to vote against earmark reform and be AWOL on this debate is no way to win back the majority," one conservative staffer told the newspaper. If the GOP leadership can't get why they're a minority, the Republicans deserve to stay a minority.