Boehner: 51 Democrats Flip-Flop as Majority Chooses Pork Over National Security
Democratic Leadership Ignores Bipartisan Majority, Passes Intelligence Bill Packed with Pork-Barrel Earmarks at the Expense of Funding for Human Intelligence
House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement opposing the FY 2008 National Intelligence Authorization Act (H.R. 2082) after the Majority rejected a Republican proposal to strip pork-barrel earmarks from the bill and use those funds to bolster human intelligence resources. In fact, 51 Democrats flip-flopped and rejected the proposal after voting to strike all earmarks just nine days ago. Boehner issued the following statement:
"Nine days ago, 62 Democrats voted with House Republicans to strip all earmarks out of this legislation and direct those funds toward additional human intelligence, which the Majority irresponsibly shortchanged in this bill. Today, given the chance to cast the same vote and bulk-up our human intelligence resources, they simply flip-flopped. There's no other way to put it. Forced to choose between pork-barrel spending and our national security, the Majority chose pork. And our intelligence community will pay the price.
"This Majority promised to fundamentally reform the congressional earmark process, but that promise turned out to be nothing but lip-service. They gutted the earmark reforms implemented last year by Republicans that required earmarks in all types of bills, including authorization bills like the one voted on in the House today, to be publicly debated and defended on the floor of the U.S. House. Today, we saw yet another example of why they killed those reforms. This intelligence authorization bill is packed with pork-barrel projects that divert money away from intelligence professionals, and it is no surprise that the Majority doesn't want those projects to be subject to public scrutiny. In a year full of shameful votes for this Congress, today's earmark flip-flop vote will be remembered as one of the most shameful of all."
NOTE: On December 4, 2007, 62 Democrats voted for a Republican motion to instruct conferees negotiating the intelligence measure to strike all earmarks in H.R. 2082 - including a controversial earmark requested by Defense Appropriations Subcommittee chair Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) for the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) in his district. The proposal passed 249-160. Today, the Majority reversed course and rejected a Republican plan to strip earmarks and direct those funds toward additional human intelligence resources in the final, House-passed intelligence authorization bill. The Majority defeated that proposal 215-205.