March 11, 2009

Tough choice for Ryan on Janesville earmark?

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.”


  1. Easy if he votes yes he is a Rino

  2. One thing is certain Pete, no matter what Paul Ryan does, you'll be there to bash him for it.

  3. Ryan put himself in that position he has no one else to blame. If being critized is too much for Ryan he needs a new line of work.

  4. StopthemadnessNOW3/11/2009 9:54 PM

    Well, give Rep. Ryan credit for principle (even if it's not terribly practical at this juncture.) Ditto for Sen. Feingold.

    There is a big difference between those two, however. Ryan is a Johnny-come-lately to fiscal responsibility. He had NO problem whatsoever supporting the Bush Administration for nearly eight years. Feingold (who has cast his share of pork-related spending votes) has long been critical of the current appropriations system.

    This is just speculation, but it appears that Ryan is positioning himself for a run at statewide office (i.e. Kohl's seat) and is feverishly "branding" himself. If that is indeed the case, it's unfortunate that he's putting ambition ahead of the needs of the First District.

  5. I applaud the conviction of Senator Ryan and Feingold. Two Senators from the opposite aisle who vehemently are committed to stop the insanity! I supported the President and in little over 50 days in office that support has all but collapsed. During the Presidential campaign, this President committed to go line by line to veto all earmarks and further declared that once and for all to ban all earmarks. Well, today’s signature of the pork riddled bill became law, which further means that you can now add this President to a very long list of Politicians that failed to fulfill a campaign promise. Yet, I now categorize him as a blatant liar!

    There, I said it, I realize now that I will be excoriated by all of those continued supporters that truly believe this Administration has their best interest at hand. I commend all of you that continue to believe, however; the actions themselves speak loader than words. I am sick to death of the absolute wasteful spending from all...

  6. Umm, anonymous at 12:21 AM:

    It's Congressman Ryan, not Senator...

  7. With earmarks a whopping total of 1% of the budget bill Ryan's Principle sounds a lot more like Politics to me. Is anyone really suggesting that retraining laid off GM workers is pork?

  8. HEY, anonymous at 5:31...
    Based on your rationalization, you're right... it is only approximately 1/2 billion in pork... I certainly don't believe training is deemed as waste, therefore; should I too not be upset about what is going on?

    More importantly, why did the President sign the bill into law out of the public's view...? So much for transparency... He should be embarrassed ~!

    $1.7 million for pig odor research in Iowa, $6.6 million for termite research in New Orleans, $1.7 million for a honeybee factory in Texas, , $951,000 for a sustainable Las Vegas, and $207,000for a tattoo removal program in Los Angeles –

    There is examples of pork, but again under your justification it is only 1/2 billion dollars. You’re absolutely correct who the hell needs it, right! This continued spending spree will continue to plague the market and the economy, but again; what the hell it is ONLY 1% of the overall budget. Tell that to the 20 plus employees, dedicated long term employees that we have to release due the failing economy. And save me the whine about, he inherited it. So the Bush Administration was just as much at fault... This is here and now. Your commentary makes me sick!@