Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, apparently unwilling to give Republicans any ammunition for their claims that House Democrats are packing pork into the budget, yesterday released a list of all earmark requests he has made on his district’s behalf.
“I came to Washington committed to being open and accountable to Californians – and to change the way business is done here,” he said in a news release. “For too long, the earmark process has been shrouded in secrecy, allowing lawmakers to fund expensive boondoggle projects that benefit the special interests, as opposed to the public interest.”
These are only requests; many might go unfunded. And anyway, McNerney claimed, he’s not spending irresponsibly: “I am fully committed to fiscal discipline and responsibility. I am proud to have voted to restore the important principle of Pay-As-You-Go budgeting, which helped lead to the economic surpluses of the 1990s. And in the past few weeks, since the House began considering appropriations bills for the next fiscal year, I voted against nearly $3.5 billion in federal spending because of my commitment to reign in the federal deficit.”