What the heck is an earmark, anyway?
Smell that stank in the air? That porky smell means it's appropriation bill season, fiscal year '09! Yeah! The season came late this year. It didn't seem like it would come at all. Congress waited until George Bush went back to Texas to begin the task of figuring out how to fund the vast bureaucracy that is the United States government. The bill was supposed to have been passed last September, making the bill a full six months late.
Why would Congress wait for Bush to leave Washington? Earmarks. George Bush became one of the first chief executives Congress believed might actually veto any spending bills with earmarks attached. And as a lame duck president when the 110th was deliberating the FY09 spending bill last September, he very well may have, as he had absolutely nothing to lose.
So Congress left it for the next guy to deal with, and... See more »