March 5th, 2009
12:51 PM ET
11 years ago

Critics question Obama's pledge to end 'pork'

The Senate could vote on the spending bill as early as Thursday.

The Senate could vote on the spending bill as early as Thursday.

(CNN) - As a spending bill loaded with pork makes its way through Congress, President Obama is getting pushback from members of his own party who are questioning his vow to end wasteful spending.

The president on Wednesday pledged turn tide on an "era of fiscal irresponsibility," reiterating his campaign promise that the days of "pork ... as a strategy" are over.

And in a prime-time address before a joint session of Congress, Obama last week praised the $787 billion stimulus package signed into law, telling the nation, "I'm proud that we passed a recovery plan free of earmarks, and I want to pass a budget next year that ensures that each dollar we spend reflects only our most important national priorities."

But some in the audience found that hard to swallow.

"There was just a roar of laughter - because there were earmarks," said Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri.

Earmarks, sometimes called "pork," are unrelated pet projects that members of Congress insert in spending bills.

The scoffing continues as the president hammers away at reducing wasteful spending and saving taxpayers money while lawmakers on Capitol Hill load up a spending bill with more than 8,000 earmarks totaling nearly $8 billion.

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Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. JDM

    Congress creates the bills and the Pres signs or veto the bill.
    You guys are confuse, CONGRESS CREATES THE BILLS!!!!!
    NOT THE PRES.!!!! DEM AND REPUB-CONGRESS CREATES THE BILLS!!!!!!!

    March 5, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  2. WELCOME TO THE OBAMA SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

    JUST ANOTHER LIE TO GET YOUR VOTE!!!

    THE OBAMA SUPPORTERS SHOULD REALLY BE UPSET...

    HEY THIS JUST STARTED HE HAS ONLY BEEN IN OFFICE NOT EVEN 2 MONTHS!!!!!!

    March 5, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  3. Hammer

    You misunderstood what he said.
    Pork will be used to buy votes, that is the way they do business in Washington.

    March 5, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  4. ronvan

    I would love to see President Obama "call out" every pork item and identify them with the names of the ones that put them in the bill.
    Sadly, what good would it do. Then everyone would be screaming that it is the Presidents fault.

    March 5, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  5. Cynthia

    Let the President do his job the world isn't perfect life isn't fair so deal with it.

    March 5, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  6. No Hillary = No Obama

    And this is still the honeymoon period for Obama? I hate to see what this Presidency is going to look like a year from now. Frozen in frivolity.

    March 5, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  7. FreeNLovIt

    We need to follow the guidelines posted by the Nobel Prize economists and lose everybody else in the process, otherwise, we'll never BUST out of this mess!! Go big, go bold, go bald!!! Fly eagle fly!!!

    March 5, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
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