|Current Issue : Washington Update|
| Black Lawmakers Urged to Join Earmark Feast |
by Charles Dervarics
| Black Lawmakers Urged to Join Earmark Feast|
Despite presidential veto, earmarks are likely to stay and be accessible
to minority-serving institutions under Democratic-controlled Congress.
By Charles Dervarics
After a short break, the U.S. Congress again wants to earmark some of its education funds to members pet projects, a commitment to pork-barrel spending that has led to a presidential veto as well as calls for more equitable treatment for minority-serving institutions.
Called earmarks, these special funding requests are tucked into annual spending bills at lawmakers request. Universities successful in this endeavor generally get around the peer review process required to seek funding under federal grant programs.
They're creeping back, and that's an inevitable fact of life, said Barmak Nassirian, associate executive director of external relations at the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.
Congress took a break from the process when Democrats vowed to cut back on the practice after taking control of the House and Senate. But some projects reappeared in the 2008 education and health spending bill, and President Bush cited the practice as one reason he vetoed the measure last month. The House and Senate could not override the veto, and the spending bill is still languishing in Congress.
But since most earmarks appear to go to large, traditionally White institutions, one expert says Black and other lawmakers should seek a greater share of the pie.
I don't know why Black legislators haven't done it more often, said Dr. Ronald Walters, a political scientist and director of the African American Leadership Center at the University of Maryland.
According to Walters, Republicans broke the bank on earmarks when they controlled Congress from 1994 to 2006. But Democratic control of Congress and, as a result, increased power for minority lawmakers should give MSIs more leverage than before to seek their share of projects. More HERE
AAPP: What should we do to hold the Congressional Black Caucus accountable?
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Another Congressional Black Caucus Failure
Well, It appears that the Congressional Black Caucus Not Bringing Home The Bacon, beef, or veggies. While other lawmakers are getting their special projects from the earmark feast over the past 10 years, black communities have suffered. Check out this important article in diverse education.com