Coconut Road Congressional Investigation Obstructed by Partisan Tactics
Senate Democrats Block Congressional Investigation with Supermajority Vote
The Senate today blocked a congressionally-led investigation regarding how the "Coconut Road" earmark was placed into a bill on its way to the White House after it was passed by Congress. After claiming that an investigation into the extra-constitutional Coconut Road earmark was needed, Senate Democrats set a supermajority threshold of 60 votes to require an investigation and doomed Dr. Coburn's congressional investigation amendment from passing. A majority of Senators supported Dr. Coburn's amendment authorizing a congressional investigation by a vote of 49 to 43. However, an amendment by Senator Boxer directing the Department of Justice to investigate the episode passed by a margin of 63 to 29.
"The Boxer amendment sets the troubling and bizarre precedent of turning the Attorney General into the de facto Senate and House Parliamentarian. Violating congressional rules is not a crime, yet Congress has just given away its right to police itself with this misguided amendment. If this earmark should be investigated by DOJ perhaps all earmarks should be investigated as well," Dr. Coburn said.
"By rigging the congressional investigation process to fail, Congress has once again told the American people that the earmark favor factory hasn't been shut down but turned over to new management," Dr. Coburn said. "Less than two years ago, Democrats promised to drain the swamp' and break the link between lobbyists and legislation' if given control of Congress. It appears that the new majority has instead made the swamp' protected wetlands for politicians, lobbyists, and campaign contributors."