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House Bill Loaded With $6.5B the Pentagon Doesn't Want

(Newser) - They gave up on the F22, but Congress is still trying to give the Pentagon $6.9 billion in planes, helicopters and ships the Defense secretary doesn’t want, the Washington Post reports. House Democrats have loaded the defense spending bill with earmarks for programs Barack Obama and Robert Gates... More »

Pentagon Gives $4M in No-Bid Contracts to Murtha Nephew

Looks bad, even if no evidence of meddling

(Newser) - It can be hard for a defense contractor to be related to a powerful legislator with hands on the military’s purse strings. Just ask Robert Murtha, nephew of Democrat John Murtha, and chief of Murtech—everyone assumes that his success is his uncle’s work. Today, the Washington Post... More »

On Gitmo, Obama Has a NIMBY Problem

Congress balks at funds, authority to move detainees to US

(Newser) - President Obama has ordered that Guantanamo be closed by the end of the year, but finding a place for the prisoners the administration can neither try nor export is turning into a political nightmare. A Pentagon request for $50 million to relocate the prisoners is running into crossfire in Congress,... More »

Congress Passes Stopgap Bill to Avoid Shutdown

(Newser) - With a $410 billion catchall spending bill stalled in the Senate and a midnight deadline looming, Congress rushed through stopgap legislation today to keep the government running for another five days. With most Republicans denouncing the bill as too costly and a few Democrats opposing it as well, Majority Leader... More »

Angry McCain Slams Obama Over Earmarks

Old spending bill proves minefield for Democrats

(Newser) - Democrats were hoping they could sneak the $410 billion omnibus spending bill from last fall quietly through the Senate and onto the president’s desk, to make way for the 2010 budget. But John McCain is having none of it. “If it seems like I’m angry, it’s... More »

Bush Blames Pork for Spending Veto

$606B bill isn't kosher, prez says, ordering Congress to trim

(Newser) - President Bush vetoed a $606 billion domestic spending bill today, accusing Congress of “acting like a teenager with a new credit card.” His rejection of the measure, which included education, health, and job-training funds, will likely lead to a showdown, the Los Angeles Times reports. The House appropriations... More »

Earmarks Are Weapons in House Spat

Murtha accused of rules violation after threat to deny future funding

(Newser) - Rep. John Murtha, the pugnacious Democratic chairman of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, is accused of breaking House rules by  threatening to withhold future spending from a GOP member with whom he had a disagreement. Politico reports that Rep. Mike Rogers is calling for a House vote to reprimand Murtha. More »

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