Tags: flake | earmarks | defense

GOP's Flake Seeks Elimination of Defense Earmarks

Thursday, 23 Jul 2009 02:41 PM

By Jim Meyers

Rep. Jeff Flake is filing 540 amendment requests in an effort to eliminate all earmarks in the Defense appropriations bill benefitting for-profit companies.

Some of those firms are under investigation or involved in federal corruption probes.

"There is very little to no vetting by the Appropriations Committee and a lot of these earmarks need some examining," the Arizona Republican said.

"We're in the middle of a federal investigation of earmarks and we're acting like nothing has changed — it's business as usual."

Flake was referring to federal probes involving the misuse of earmarked money by defense contractors, according to The Hill newspaper.

One of those investigations involves PMA Group, a now defunct lobbying firm that had ties to Democratic Congressmen John Murtha of Pennsylvania and Pete Visclosky of Indiana. The FBI raided the company's offices earlier this year, but the defense bill includes 70 earmarks for former PMA clients.

The Rules Committee "will jettison most of Flake's amendment requests," The Hill reported. "But he argues the flood of requests will make a statement that defense appropriators seem to be tone-deaf when it comes to eliminating or failing to vet dangerous earmarks."

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