Captain Ed has put out a porkbusting call-to-action for us citizens as well as for President Bush.
In case you aren't familiar with the situation, Congress recently passed the Omnibus Spending Bill which included in the text of the law a whole bunch of pork-barrel earmarks. These earmarks that are in the text of the law are called legislative earmarks because they identify spending that is now required by law.
However, Congress also issued a bunch of paperwork with the law that identifies additional earmarks that they want various government offices to spend money on but that aren't specifically called out in the text of the law. These are nonlegislative earmarks and do not have the force of law because they are not in the text of the bill that was passed by Congress. In essence they are preferences expressed by one or more lawmakers (not a majority, or they would have been in the text of the bill) for how they want some of the money spent. Constitutionally, because these nonlegislative earmarks don't have the force of law, the President can issue an executive order instructing the government to completely ignore these earmarks and to instead spend the money in the way that the departments think is best for the country.
President Bush should do exactly this, and we citizens should be pressuring him issue such an executive order. Call or email the White House as described below.
Sources on the Hill tell some of us that a critical point has been reached at the White House on whether to issue an Executive Order that would prevent federal agencies from spending funds on 90% of the earmarks in the Omnibus Spending Bill. According to the whispers, the earmarkers on Capitol Hill have begun to lean heavily on the White House to let the matter drop and to keep the earmark funding in place. Every day brings a fresh round of calls from the same lawmakers who porked up the overdue spending bill, "airdropping" almost all of them (against the new rules in Congress) to keep the porkers from accountability.
If CapQ readers want George Bush to issue the Executive Order and hold Congress responsible for violating its own rules while pursuing personal political benefits, they need to let the White House know now how they feel. The EO advocates need to remind Bush that only through dramatic action can the GOP reclaim any momentum on fiscal responsibility. A rescission package would only play into the hands of the same people who larded up the spending bill while delivering it three months late.
You can make a difference. Call 202-456-1111 and politely explain why the President should issue the EO, or e-mail the staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.