Grabbing Some More of Your Dollars


While the majority of the attention is on health care reform, climate change and the like, other "routine" business continues to take place in Washington. On the agenda this week, as early as later today, is consideration on the Senate floor of a $122 million, fiscal year 2010 Transportation/Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill.

Don’t confuse this with the legislation authorizing highway funding that expires on September 30. The consensus there is that an extension, as long as 18 months, will be enacted so that little challenge can be put off until 2011.

On the transportation bill, there have been more than 50 amendments filed. Most come from Arizona’s John McCain; you remember him from that 2008 presidential election thing. Among the items McCain wants to remove from the bill:

  • $195,000 for renovation of the Emmett Till Memorial Complex in Tallahatchie County, Mississippi
  • $500,000 to construct a beach park promenade in Pascagoula, Mississippi
  • $500,000 requested by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to provide a credit counseling service in Las Vegas

I’ll vote with McCain on this one. But then this whole earmark argument has been heard before — and it still seems to be business as usual.

Another worthy amendment would prevent lawmakers from congratulating themselves by using stimulus funds to purchase signage for such projects in their communities. The only stimulus that would provide is to the legislator’s re-election efforts. 

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