WFPL News reports that the bill ending the government shutdown includes $3 billion for the massive Olmsted Dam Lock in Paducah, Kentucky. The bill increases the funding from $775 million to nearly $2.9 billion.
The article reports:
Asked about the additional funding in the proposal, McConnell spokesman Robert Steurer directed all questions to lawmakers who worked on the bill directly.
Since 2009, McConnell has been an outspoken supporter of the project, and has been working on getting its funding for some time.
This may not be an earmark, but it sure looks like one. Why was this included in this bill rather than a stand-alone bill?
The other part of this bill that disturbs me is the change in how future debt ceilings will be handled.
The plan includes a proposal offered by McConnell in the 2011 debt ceiling crisis that allows Congress to disapprove of the debt ceiling increase, which means lawmakers will formally vote on whether to reject a debt ceiling increase until Feb. 7. Obama can veto that legislation if it passes. If Congress fails as expected to gather a two-thirds majority to override the veto, the debt ceiling would be raised.
If we ever want to see the end of runaway spending, we need to oppose that idea and everyone who supports it. Shutting the government down was not pleasant, but Congress (particularly the House of Representatives) is supposed to be in charge of spending. This change makes Congress almost irrelevant and allows the President to continue to drive America into bankruptcy.
This was not a good deal for America.