Wow! Here's a tough one for Rep. Paul "NO DAMN EARMARKS!" Ryan, R-WI, 1st District.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has a little story today about a $950,000 earmark included in the 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Bill for Blackhawk Technical College in Janesville, to help former General Motors employees with job training.
The earmark was added to the legislation by Sen. Herb Kohl, D-WI, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, who doesn't share Ryan's disapproval of federal funds sent back to local entities.
"There is an urgent need to help GM's former employees get back on their feet. Families are struggling and the whole community has been stung by its largest employer pulling up stakes. This desperately needed investment will ... help put more people back to work," Kohl said in a statement.
The federal funding will help support career and aptitude assessment testing; career and technical education instruction; basic skills or college readiness instruction; tuition, books, materials, and related fees for educational program enrollment; and job readiness/job placement services.
Ryan, of course, lives in Janesville, where some 2,400 GM workers -- and many more in the community -- lost their jobs earlier this year when the GM plant that built trucks and SUVs closed. And, as we said, he's death on earmarks.
We'd bet Ryan will vote against the earmark if given the chance (and the larger bill as well) ... but it will pass anyway. You can have it both ways.
He'll have support from Sen. Russ Feingold, D-WI, across the partisan aisle. Feingold said Tuesday, as he opposed the bill, “Congress failed to show the American people that it is committed to spending their money wisely. When Congress passed the economic recovery bill to create or save millions of American jobs, it did so without including a single earmark. Congress should have done the same thing with this omnibus spending bill and it should do so with all future bills. The president should veto the omnibus, send it back to Congress to be cleaned up and make it clear to Congress that pork-laden bills like this are no longer welcome.”