QUOTE(Doclotus @ Jul 30 2005, 09:22 AM)
, I don't provide links without reading them. Trust me, this was a *very* different topic before I found the 2nd Waxman letter while researching this. The 2nd letter certainly dropped my blood pressure on the matter a bit, this action still stinks. This is pork barrel politics at its worst. But I guess you've gotten used to the smell. Waxman may have let them off the hook, but I don't.
As for Halliburton, I guess it is more of the same ole, same ole. That doesn't make it right. Please explain to me why a company that is likely enjoying some of its most profitable years due to the record oil prices we are experiencing would need more pork from the Federal Government? Divide that up amongst the total population of the US, and you and I just gave Halliburton the equivalent of 2.2 gallons of gas each. Why are my tax dollars going there?
And yes, when 75% of that 1.5 Billion goes to the district of the majority leader of the House, I take notice. The question is, why don't you? Especially when this fund isn't being managed by the government, its being managed by a private consortium.
I don't know if this particular rider in this bill is "pork" or not, I haven't really read it. Maybe it is, or maybe it's a legitimate funding of R&D for advanced methods of oil and gas exploration/extraction. To be sure, there is way too much pork in all kinds of legislation, from both sides and it's nearly impossible to stop that. Members of Congress don't bite the hand that feeds them and they all feed at the same trough when it comes to pork. President Reagan tried to stop that when he wanted the Line Item Veto
. As my link demonstrates, President Clinton got it and then was shot down in the Supreme Court.
On June 26, 1998, the Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, struck down the line-item veto law, declaring it unconstitutional. In the case of Clinton v. City of New York, the Court held the law unconstitutional on grounds that it violates the presentment clause; in order to grant the President line item veto a constitutional amendment is needed (according to the majority opinion). On July 17, 1998, the Office of Management and Budget announced that funding would be released for the forty-plus cancellations made in 1997 under the Line Item Veto Act and not explicitly overturned previously.
So, there you go. You want to end pork spending? Get a Constitutional Amendment through the process. I'd be in favor of that, but that's another debate.
On this topic though, your question dealt with ethics. From Webster we have the following definitions of the word ethical
2 : involving or expressing moral approval or disapproval
3 : conforming to accepted professional standards of conduct
Perhaps your choice of the meaning was #2. I used #3 for this topic because according to the second letter, this action was acceptable within the rules of the Congress. Were we to use #2, then we would be in effect calling into question the moral approval or disapproval of the Congress in general. That would be one extensive debate I suspect.
I didn't ask if it was in the rules, I asked if its ethical. In my ethical rulebook, when you ask a legislator to vote on something, they should have all the facts at their disposal, whether they choose to avail themselves of that information or not. I can't help but wonder if this bill would have had the bipartisan support it carried if the Democratic caucus knew that a good chunk of it was feathering DeLay's nest egg and funneling more pork to Halliburton. They didn't get that chance, however, and that is why its unethical.
I would now invoke definition #2 and ask you if making a determination on spending based purely on political grounds is "ethical". That seems to be the implication contained in your statement. You seem to be less concerned about the spending itself and more that the spending is going to a company in DeLay's district.
Hypothetical for you......
The Congressman in my district is a Democrat named Adam Schiff, but prior to him it was Jim Rogan who was hammered by the big bucks liberals in Hollywood (David Geffen for one) who pumped millions into Schiff's campaign. This was payback because Rogan was a member of the Clinton Impeachment team. Now, had Rogan won that election would you consider the funding of NASA-JPL to be "pork" beacause it was in Rogan's district?