Thursday, December 27, 2007

Congressman "Present" Voted "Nay" To Spending-Bill Presents For Constituents

Just when you thought his votes couldn't get any odder, U.S. Representative John ("Bah Humbug!") Yarmuth cast another strange one just before Christmas. And this vote was against federal funding of the very projects in Louisville for which Yarmuth pretended to take credit in the media.

The Associated Press reported that the federal spending legislation that President Bush signed into law on Wednesday included tens of millions of dollars for Yarmuth's congressional district:

Louisville will receive more than $50 million for special projects requested by Rep. John Yarmuth, D-3rd District, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

Local projects include $44.28 million for construction on McAlpine Locks and Dam on the Ohio River; $980,000 for planning and design of the Ohio River Bridges Project linking Indiana and Louisville; $1.25 million for runway work, lighting and signs at Louisville International Airport; $492,000 for mobile data computers for Louisville Metro Police; $500,000 for new sewers in Shively; and $150,000 for programs at the Louisville Science Center.

"This was a tough year in the appropriations process, but Kentucky came out a winner," McConnell said in a statement.

Yarmuth said the budget would provide money to more than two dozen Louisville projects.

From that account, one would assume that Yarmuth and McConnell worked together to bring federal dollars to Louisville. But nothing could be further from the truth.

While McConnell fought tooth and nail to ensure that Louisville received its ample share of earmarks, Yarmuth did nothing to help his constituents. In fact, Yarmuth voted against the final spending bill adopted by Congress. He was the only member of the Kentucky delegation to vote against the bill.

Yarmuth's congressional district would have been better off had he given it at least as much support as he gave to Christmas -- by simply voting "present."

His vote is all the more perplexing given that the day before he cast it, he told James Carroll that he was "optimistic" that Louisville would get the earmarks in the spending bill. "Overall, I think they're in pretty good shape," he told Carroll.

Inexplicably, Yarmuth voted against the bill the next day -- though his web site does not list that or any of his other bizarre votes. On his website, however, Yarmuth took credit for the same earmarks back in July, when the House Appropriations Committee -- not even the full House -- approved the projects. His headline, "Yarmuth Brings Home $2.8 Million in Transportation-HUD Bill," shows a disturbing ignorance of how a bill becomes a law. It also shows that the man who ran against hidden earmarks will gladly take credit for other members of the delegation bringing home the bacon to his district.

No comments: