McCain assails Obama on earmarks
Mar 03,2009 00:00 by UPI

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., ripped President Barack Obama for not taking a hard line against thousands of earmarks in a $410 billion omnibus spending bill.

In a floor speech Monday, McCain, Obama's opponent in the presidential election, said, "If it seems like I'm angry, it's because I am," Politico reported Tuesday.

He took the White House to task for treating the bill -- which funds government operations through the end of the fiscal year in September -- as leftover business and not subject to Obama's campaign pledge to reform the earmark process.

"Last year's business?" McCain asked. "The president will sign this appropriations bill into law. It is the president's business. It is the president of the United States' business. It is the president of the United States' business to do what he said -- stated-- when we were in debate seeking the support of the American people -- where he said he would work to eliminate earmarks."

He repeated Obama's remarks concerning earmark reform made during a debate last fall, saying: "That's the quote, the promise of the president of the United States made to the American people in a debate with me in Oxford, Miss. So what is brought to the floor today -- 9,000 earmarks. ... So much for change."

The House of Representatives approved the omnibus measure last week on a 245-178 vote and Senate Democrats said they hoped to move the measure through the chamber and onto the White House by Friday, the Washington publication said.

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