Wash. Times' Lambro falsely accused Obama of misrepresenting contents of bill

››› ››› SIMON MALOY

The Washington Times' Donald Lambro wrote, "Nine thousand pork barrel earmarks were buried in the $410 billion omnibus budget that passed the House last week," adding that "President Obama told Congress the day before it passed that he was happy it didn't contain any earmarks, eliciting gales of laughter from the Republican side of the chamber who knew better." In fact, during his February 24 address to Congress, Obama praised the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act -- not the omnibus legislation -- for not containing any earmarks.

In his March 2 column, Donald Lambro, The Washington Times' chief political correspondent, wrote, "Nine thousand pork barrel earmarks were buried in the $410 billion omnibus budget that passed the House last week," and added that "President Obama told Congress the day before it passed that he was happy it didn't contain any earmarks, eliciting gales of laughter from the Republican side of the chamber who knew better." But Lambro's claim that Obama made a false statement about earmarks is itself false. In his February 24 address to Congress, Obama was not referring to the omnibus spending bill, as Lambro claimed, but to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act when he said the bill did not contain any earmarks: "I'm proud that we passed the recovery plan free of earmarks, and I want to pass a budget next year that ensures that each dollar we spend reflects only our most important national priorities."

As Media Matters for America has noted, both Republicans and Democrats requested "earmarks" to be included in the omnibus legislation. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer's (D-MD) office asserted that "40% of the earmarks in the omnibus appropriations bill are Republican earmarks."

Lambro wrote on March 2:

Nine thousand pork barrel earmarks were buried in the $410 billion omnibus budget that passed the House last week - giving bureaucrats 9 percent more money to spend in the remainder of this fiscal year.

President Obama told Congress the day before it passed that he was happy it didn't contain any earmarks, eliciting gales of laughter from the Republican side of the chamber who knew better.

Obama said during his February 24 address:

There is, of course, another responsibility we have to our children. And that is the responsibility to ensure that we do not pass on to them a debt they cannot pay. With the deficit we inherited, the cost of the crisis we face, and the long-term challenges we must meet, it has never been more important to ensure that as our economy recovers, we do what it takes to bring this deficit down.

I'm proud that we passed the recovery plan free of earmarks, and I want to pass a budget next year that ensures that each dollar we spend reflects only our most important national priorities.

Yesterday, I held a fiscal summit where I pledged to cut the deficit in half by the end of my first term in office. My administration has also begun to go line by line through the federal budget in order to eliminate wasteful and ineffective programs. As you can imagine, this is a process that will take some time. But we're starting with the biggest lines. We have already identified two trillion dollars in savings over the next decade.

Posted In
Economy, Budget
Network/Outlet
The Washington Times
Person
Donald Lambro
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