August 16, 2007

Harking Bringing Home the Bacon: Part II

After I reported on the earmarks Senator Harkin attached to the 2008 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill (Senator Harkin, Bringing Home the Bacon), which included several million for the Senators constituents outside of Iowa and the even more troubling $500,000 for the political group 'The National Council of LaRaza', I contacted the senator for an explanation. Surprisingly, I received a reply from the Senator. Obviously just a form letter but I will post it in part none the less.

Dear Scott:

Thank you for contacting me. I am always glad to hear from you. I appreciate your interest in important health, education, and workforce programs funded by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), and Education, which I Chair. As you may know, the Fiscal Year 2008 Labor, HHS, and Education Appropriations bill, S. 1710, was approved by the full Senate Appropriations Committee and will soon be considered by the full Senate. I have long believed that budgets are about priorities. The President's proposed budget cuts represent the wrong priorities for America. I believe the Labor, HHS, and Education bill approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee represents the right priorities for our nation.The President's budget would have slashed funding for important health and education programs. My Senate bill...

The Senator then spent several hundred words describing all the great the things that were included in the legislation. None of which included the earmarks attached to the bill or an explanation of the specific spending that I inquired about.

...Please rest assured that I will continue to work for a final Labor, HHS, and Education spending bill that protects and respects the interests and values of Iowans. If I can be of any more assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me. Again, thanks for sharing your views with me. Please don't hesitate to let me know how you feel on any issue that concerns you.


Tom Harkin
United States Senator

I am left with that feeling that I have just had smoke blown up the backside. I will be contacting the good Senator and will hopefully get a better more personally directed explanation of my inquiry

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