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GOPers and Dems worked together to kill an amendment that would have set limits on earmarks in the highway bill.

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House Rejects Fiscal Discipline on Roads

GOPers and Dems worked together to kill an amendment that would have set limits on earmarks in the highway bill.

On April 1, by a vote of 60 to 367, the House soundly rejected an amendment to the Surface Transportation bill (HR 3350) sponsored by Rep. Jeff Flake (R.-Ariz.) that was designed to control highway spending by setting a limit on earmarks.

The bill would authorize spending $275 billion for federal highways, highway safety and research programs, mass transit programs, and numerous unrelated projects.

President Bush had previously threatened to veto any bill over $256 billion, but with an election looming, many members doubt he will actually make good on this threat. In addition, the Senate appears poised to pass an even more costly $318-billion bill.

Only a handful of congressmen even made an attempt to cut back on the amount of “pork” being brought back to constituents.

Flake, rated No.1 in fiscal discipline by the National Taxpayers’ Union, did not request any earmarked highway projects for his district. His amendment would have changed the current formula for dividing highway funds among the states to discourage earmarks. Currently, earmarks are secured by each member apart from the minimum guarantee formula applied to each state. The Flake amendment would have subtracted the dollar amount of earmarks from the state formula totals, furthering equity among all states.

“What [the amendment] does essentially is say that if you want an earmark, that is fine, but that earmark should come out of your own state’s formula [amount], not everyone else’s,” said Flake.

Flake said that in 1982, there were a total of 10 earmarks in the highway authorization bill. In 1987, President Reagan vetoed the bill because there were 152 earmarks, something he thought was unacceptable. Six years later, there were 500 earmarks in the bill. This most recent bill contains 3,000 earmarks–just for the House.

Conservative Rep. Mike Pence (R.-Ind.) pointed out that a significant amount of money that should be allotted for highway funding is used instead for non-highway projects. “We cannot allow some of our states to experience a reduction in core programs, he said. “The great highway infrastructure of each state serves more than just the citizens in that state.”

“Transportation” earmarks included $4 million for graffiti removal in Queens and Brooklyn, $3.5 million for horse trails in Virginia, and $1.5 million for the improvement of the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan.

After Flake’s amendment failed, the House easily passed its $283 billion version of the six-year highway bill by a vote of 357 to 65.

A “yes” vote was a vote in favor of the Flake amendment, to rein in highway spending to a reasonable level. A “no” vote was a vote against the bill.

For the Amendment: 60 Against the Amendment: 367
REPUBLICANS FOR: 55
Akin
Barrett (SC)
Bartlett (MD)
Bass
Bishop (UT)
Boehner
Bradley (NH)
Brady (TX)
Cantor
Carter
Chabot
Collins
Cox
Deal (GA)
Everett
Feeney
Flake
Franks (AZ)
Garrett (NJ)
Gingrey
Gutknecht
Harris
Hastings (WA)
Hayworth
Hensarling
Hunter
Isakson
Kennedy (MN)
King (IA)
Kingston
Kline
Kolbe
Linder
Miller (FL)
Musgrave
Myrick
Norwood
Otter
Paul
Pence
Putnam
Ramstad
Renzi
Rohrabacher
Royce
Sensenbrenner
Shadegg
Simpson
Smith (MI)
Stearns
Sullivan
Tancredo
Thornberry
Weldon (FL)
Wilson (SC)

DEMOCRATS FOR: 5
Davis (FL)
Harman
Lofgren
Majette
Rush

REPUBLICANS AGAINST: 169
Aderholt
Bachus
Baker
Ballenger
Barton (TX)
Beauprez
Bereuter
Biggert
Bilirakis
Blackburn
Blunt
Boehlert
Bonilla
Bonner
Bono
Boozman
Brown (SC)
Brown-Waite, Ginny
Burgess
Burns
Burr
Burton (IN)
Buyer
Calvert
Camp
Cannon
Capito
Castle
Chocola
Coble
Cole
Crane
Crenshaw
Cubin
Culberson
Cunningham
Davis, Jo Ann
Davis, Tom
DeLay
Diaz-Balart, L.
Diaz-Balart, M.
Doolittle
Dreier
Duncan
Dunn
Ehlers
Emerson
English
Ferguson
Foley
Forbes
Fossella
Frelinghuysen
Gallegly
Gerlach
Gibbons
Gilchrest
Gillmor
Goode
Goodlatte
Goss
Granger
Graves
Green (WI)
Greenwood
Hall
Hart
Hayes
Hefley
Herger
Hobson
Hoekstra
Hostettler
Houghton
Hyde
Issa
Istook
Jenkins
Johnson, Sam
Johnson (CT)
Johnson (IL)
Jones (NC)
Keller
Kelly
King (NY)
Kirk
Knollenberg
LaHood
Latham
LaTourette
Leach
Lewis (CA)
Lewis (KY)
LoBiondo
Lucas (OK)
Manzullo
McCotter
McCrery
McHugh
McInnis
McKeon
Mica
Miller, Gary
Miller (MI)
Moran (KS)
Murphy
Nethercutt
Neugebauer
Ney
Northup
Nunes
Nussle
Osborne
Ose
Oxley
Pearce
Peterson (PA)
Petri
Pickering
Pitts
Platts
Pombo
Porter
Portman
Pryce (OH)
Quinn
Radanovich
Regula
Rehberg
Reynolds
Rogers (AL)
Rogers (KY)
Rogers (MI)
Ros-Lehtinen
Ryan (WI)
Ryun (KS)
Saxton
Schrock
Sessions
Shaw
Shays
Sherwood
Shimkus
Shuster
Simmons
Smith (NJ)
Smith (TX)
Souder
Sweeney
Taylor (NC)
Terry
Thomas
Tiahrt
Tiberi
Toomey
Turner (OH)
Upton
Vitter
Walden (OR)
Walsh
Wamp
Weldon (PA)
Weller
Whitfield
Wicker
Wilson (NM)
Wolf
Young (AK)
Young (FL)

DEMOCRATS AGAINST: 197
Abercrombie
Ackerman
Alexander
Allen
Andrews
Baca
Baird
Baldwin
Ballance
Becerra
Bell
Berkley
Berman
Berry
Bishop (GA)
Bishop (NY)
Blumenauer
Boswell
Boucher
Boyd
Brady (PA)
Brown,
Brown (OH)
Capps
Capuano
Cardin
Cardoza
Carson (IN)
Carson (OK)
Case
Chandler
Clay
Clyburn
Conyers
Cooper
Corrine
Costello
Cramer
Crowley
Cummings
Davis (AL)
Davis (CA)
Davis (IL)
Davis (TN)
DeFazio
DeGette
Delahunt
DeLauro
Deutsch
Dicks
Dingell
Doggett
Dooley (CA)
Doyle
Edwards
Emanuel
Engel
Eshoo
Etheridge
Evans
Farr
Fattah
Filner
Ford
Frank (MA)
Frost
Gonzalez
Gordon
Green (TX)
Grijalva
Gutierrez
Hastings (FL)
Hill
Hinchey
Hinojosa
Hoeffel
Holden
Holt
Honda
Hooley (OR)
Hoyer
Inslee
Israel
Jackson (IL)
Jackson-Lee (TX)
Jefferson
John
Johnson, E. B.
Jones (OH)
Kanjorski
Kaptur
Kennedy (RI)
Kildee
Kilpatrick
Kind
Kleczka
Kucinich
Lampson
Langevin
Lantos
Larsen (WA)
Larson (CT)
Lee
Levin
Lewis (GA)
Linda
Lipinski
Lowey
Lucas (KY)
Lynch
Maloney
Markey
Marshall
Matheson
Matsui
McCarthy (MO)
McCarthy (NY)
McCollum
McDermott
McGovern
McIntyre
McNulty
Meehan
Meek (FL)
Meeks (NY)
Menendez
Michaud
Millender-McDonald
Miller, George
Miller (NC)
Mollohan
Moore
Moran (VA)
Murtha
Nadler
Napolitano
Neal (MA)
Oberstar
Obey
Olver
Ortiz
Owens
Pallone
Pascrell
Pastor
Payne
Pelosi
Peterson (MN)
Pomeroy
Price (NC)
Rahall
Rangel
Reyes
Rodriguez
Ross
Rothman
Roybal-Allard
Ruppersberger
Ryan (OH)
Sabo
SĂ?Ć? ¡nchez,
Sanchez, Loretta
Sandlin
Schakowsky
Schiff
Scott (GA)
Scott (VA)
Serrano
Sherman
Skelton
Slaughter
Smith (WA)
Snyder
Solis
Spratt
Stark
Stenholm
Strickland
Stupak
Tauscher
Taylor (MS)
Thompson (CA)
Thompson (MS)
Tierney
Towns
Turner (TX)
Udall (CO)
Udall (NM)
Van Hollen
VelĂ?Ć? ¡zquez
Visclosky
Waters
Watson
Watt
Weiner
Wexler
Woolsey
Wu
Wynn

INDEPENDENT AGAINST: 1
Sanders

Not Voting: 6

REPUBLICANS (3): DEMOCRATS (3): INDEPENDENTS (0)
DeMint
Hulshof
Tauzin

Gephardt
Tanner
Waxman
.
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Written By

Miss Langsather is an intern with the National Journalism Center currently working at HUMAN EVENTS.

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