WASHINGTON (CNN) – House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md, insisted Tuesday that Congress, not President Obama, would decide whether to put more limits on earmarks in upcoming spending bills.
Asked about a statement by White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs Monday that the Obama Administration was formulating guidelines for earmark reform, Hoyer said flatly, "I don't think the White House has the ability to tell us what to do." He paused deliberately and quipped to reporters in the room, "I hope you all got that down."
He added, "It is certainly appropriate for the White House to suggest ways of going forward so that we can have agreement between the White House and ourselves."
Hoyer pointed out that Democrats have cut down the number of earmarks and now require that all requests get posted on the internet. But he conceded "I think there are additional things we can do and consider." He said Congressional leaders already talked to the White House about "concerns it had,” but refused to offer any specifics.
CNN reported Monday that, according to Democratic sources at a White House meeting last week, President Obama urged Democratic leaders to "limit" future earmarks, and in what one official described as a "tense" exchange, the leaders told the President they'll do what they can to continue reform - but that earmarking projects for districts and states is a prerogative of Congress.
Hoyer, who attended the White House meeting, vigorously defended earmark requests Tuesday, calling them “the congressional initiative process.”
"I philosophically believe it would be an undermining of the Article One responsibilities given to the Congress of the United States if it were to abandon its right to add items that it believes are priorities for our country and for the communities we represent as Members of Congress, " Hoyer said.
The Majority Leader dismissed a question from a reporter that the $410 billion spending bill for the rest of this year was becoming an "embarrassment" to President Obama and reiterated Obama's argument that the package is "last year's business."
Hoyer also said that even though then-Senator Barack Obama did not request any earmarks in last year's spending bill, he did request projects for Illinois in prior years he served in the Senate.
Hoyer is the third Dem. to say that the President has no authority over them. Curious that they allowed Bush to walk all over them, and never once said that he didn't have any authority over them. Now they have courage? Or is it something else?
Keep it up Boys and Girls, you only have two years to get your earmarks in and you're sure showing America how it's done.
Round 1 in Dems v. Obama. Round 2 will be the Iraq troop withdrawl.
Republicans are soooooo ignorant. They are not the majority and they certainly do not have control. But let's humor them in thinking they are "DA MAN" HA! HA! HA!
The Dem's had better watch out or they will be voted out.
Democrats showing their true coloirs. Makes you proud to vote for fools!
FYI to HOYER:
IT IS CALLED "THE LINE ITEM VETO" OBAMA WILL USE IT!
Pipe down, Steny. Obama wasn't REALLY planning on doing anything about earmarks... it was all just "heated campaign rhetoric" as was ALL his promises.
You'll get your pork. Now play along like a good democrat and let Obama spout with steam and fury.
Liberals = mindless lemmings
OK, Let's see the congress sit down and hammer out a set of criteria to enable them come up with a technical defenition for an earmark.
Why is that the Democrats are causing more pain for Obama than the Republicans?
The bridge to nowhere was a REPUBLICAN earmark, stop pretending only Dems add them in.
Do not forget who got us in all this debt to begin with, REPUBLICANS.
With Americans having less confidence in our Politicans both Dem. and Rep. in Washington, you better do what it takes to end all these earmarks or you won't see another term in your Senate seat or House seat........there may be times for earmarks but not now during these bad economical times..........so cut the crap and do what the people of this country sent you there to do........eliminate waste..........support the President and stop fighting, your acting just like your counter parts the Republicans.......
Politics as usual. Heaven help us all.
Oooo we have the taxpayers credit card. Let's just spend, spend, spend.
Dang even Dems have no respect for BO.
Hoyer is right, after all Barry Obama's main job was a community organizer and he is proving that now.
Don't listen to congress because all earmarks are written by the President, or so you would think as everyone is blaming the President for earmarks.
Congress should listen more to the president and the mood of the people if they are to be re-electable. Earmarks are not the 'right' of congress as they seem to believe.
To those Comrades of the DEMONCRATES, Obama's stimulus made 60 jobs today while UNEMPLOMENT ROSE TO 8%, Good job comrades, you sold out our country to higher TAXES
Guess this means the only way we will ever have line item veto in our Government is if we have a national vote. Congress lives and dies by pork.
JUST BARE IN MIND THAT WE HAVE ELECTED
PRESIDENT OBAMA TO UN-DO WHAT ALL OF YOU HAVE
DONE FOR THE PAT 2 DECADES. WE WILL VOTE ANY DEMOCRAT,
INDEPENDENCE OR REPUBLICAN OUT OF OFFICE, THAT STANDS
IN HIS WAY. THAT YOU CAN TAKE TO THE BANK IF YOU CAN FIND
ONE IN GOOD STANDING, NO THANKS TO ANY OF YOU.
Ok...and WE'LL decide whether the folks presently in Congress get to stay!
The Ricks on the bus go...
...WAH! WAH! WAH!
VERY BIG MAN TALK FROM A LOT OF SIT AROUND & DO
NOTHING FOLKS ON OUR PAYROLL. BETTER GIVE OUR
PRESIDENT ALL HE NEEDS TO TURN THIS SHIP AROUND
OR WE WILL START VOTING RECENT COLLEGE GRADS IN OFFICE.
Who runs this country? I thought voters wanted Obama to, but it seems he's just the whipping boy for Congress ! Great..............