Government Spending

Murtha's Faux Pas

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The House is expected to vote today on a proposal to reprimand Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), head of the appropriations subcommittee that oversees military spending, for threatening the earmarks of a Republican congressman who threatened his earmarks. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) says Murtha, furious at Rogers' unsuccessful attempt to strike $23 million in funding for the National Drug Intelligence Center, a boondoggle in Murtha's district, last week announced on the House floor, "You will not get any earmarks now and forever." A.P., which says Murtha "did not dispute" Rogers's account, explains that "House rules prohibit lawmakers from placing conditions on earmarks or targeted tax benefits that are based on another member's votes." In an interview taped on Friday and aired on Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she wasn't sure exactly what happened between Murtha and Rogers but defended Murtha anyway, saying he has "an excellent reputation in the Congress on both sides of the aisle." Isn't that how logrolling works?