Republican Senator Shelby Demands Earmarks and Embarasses the GOP in the Process

I need to rant on this one.

I was going to use a “This Is Just Silly” headline, but it’s not silly: If it’s true, it’s infuriating and pathetic, and that’s being kind.

Republican and self-professed fiscal conservative Senator Richard Shelby (AL) yesterday supposedly put a hold on all Obama administration nominations unless he gets billions of dollars for several earmarks for his state.

This is a senior senator from a political party that routinely rails against earmarks, government spending and deficits in effect saying…the deficit be damned, I demand that additional billions of dollars be spent for projects.

That puts the whole GOP bull on the budget and deficit out there for all to see.

A number of people are calling for Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid (NV) to tell Shelby to go to hell by not honoring the holds, bringing up the nominations, and forcing Shelby to filibuster each one over the spending/earmark issue.

Reid should do that, but not before he demands that Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) and every other GOP senator denounce Shelby publicly. Make the earmark and billions of dollars in spending the biggest possible issue by forcing GOP members to defend or denounce him and by using this to demonstrate their extreme hypocrisy if they don’t. Take the highest profile positions at Treasury, Homeland Security, and Defense that Shelby is stopping from being filled, make it clear how and why each one is important, and repeatedly ask Shelby how spending money on earmarks somehow is a higher priority than having these jobs done.

And Reid shouldn’t just bring up one nomination; he should bring up 10 in a row, keep the Senate in session 24-7, and force Shelby to repeatedly lose his fights with even his GOP colleagues voting to end debate.

About Stan Collender 126 Articles

Affiliation: Qorvis Communications

Stan Collender is a former New Yorker who, after getting a degree from the University of California, Berkeley, moved to Washington to get it out of his system. That was more than 30 years ago.

During most of his career, Collender has worked on the federal budget and congressional budget process, including stints on the staff of the House and Senate Budget Committees; founding the Federal Budget Report, a newsletter that was published for almost two decades; and for the past 11 years writing a weekly column for and now

He is currently a managing director for Qorvis Communications, where he spends most of his time working with and for financial services clients.

Visit: Capital Gains and Games

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