The House voted Wednesday to kill a bill which would have forced the House Ethics Committee to investigate instances of quid pro quo between lobbyists and law makers. The law, proposed by Arizona representative Jeff Flake (R) is intended to make sure that earmarks being inserted, sometimes stealthfully, into bills are actual wastes of money and not part of a "pay to play" scheme where lobbyists might be exchanging campaign contributions for federal funds.
While the bill sounds like a good enough idea, forcing congressmen to either play above board or at the very least make sure that if they are selling out their constituents they do so in a less obvious way, it was voted down by the House 226-182. The bill was voted for almost exclusively by Republicans, with a scant 17 Democrats signing on to the bill.
On that same day, the house voted in a Omnibus Spending bill of some 438 billion dollars. It is reportedly containing some 9000 earmarks. Could some of those earmarks be repaying for campaign favors?
During his campaign, President Obama swore to cut down the number of earmarks being passed out of Congress. Let's see if just weeks after calling for the passage of the biggest spending bill in the history of the nation, can President Obama stand against this.