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Imagine if Congress passed a law — both the House and the Senate — and then one or two people with their own agenda managed to rewrite even a sentence of that law without anyone ever knowing. That almost happened, but the change — a $10 million switch in the pork-filled 2005 highway bill — was noticed. It’s being corrected, and eventually whoever attempted to pull one over on the rest of Congress may be held to account. Maybe.
The 2005 highway bill contained an earmark — a lawmaker’s pet project — for $10 million to widen and improve I-75 in Ft. Myers, Fla. After the bill was passed by both the House and the Senate but before it went to the president, staffers for GOP Rep. Don Young of Alaska, a master of the pork process, changed the earmark to fund an interchange on I-75. That would have materially benefited developers who owned 4,000 acres next to the proposed interchange. And who, it so happened, had raised $40,000 for Young.
When the change came to light a while ago, some lawmakers were outraged. But no one in the House was apparently outraged enough to go after Young.
The Senate tires of waiting
Now the Senate has forced the hand of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic and Republican House leaders. In a bipartisan vote, 64 to 28, the Senate voted last week to ask for a federal criminal investigation into how the earmark was altered.
It will be alot harder for the neocons to steal from the American people