McCain Blasts Obama on Earmarks: “So much for the promise of change”

By Caitlin Taylor

Mar 3, 2009 10:01am

ABC News’ Sunlen Miller reports: It might feel like it’s the 2008 presidential campaign all over again….hope & change vs. business as usual…but it’s not. 

In a role reversal – this time it’s Sen. John McCain calling out Obama for representing “business as usual.”

Speaking on the Senate floor yesterday, Senator McCain said that Obama’s anticipated signing of the $410 billion omnibus bill laden with nearly $5.5 billion of earmark spending is an insult to the American people.

“The measure has over 9,000 unnecessarily and wasteful earmarks. So much for the promise of change,” McCain said, “What are we doing here? Not only business as usual; an outrageous insult to the American people.”

McCain recalled that during the campaign then Senator Obama said that he work to limit earmarks – and said now he is doing nothing to stop this from happening.

The Arizona Senator ticked through earmarks in the current bill – $951,000 for a sustainable Las Vegas, $207,000 for a tattoo removal violence program in Los Angeles, and $238,000 for Polynesian voyaging society in Honolulu, Hawaii – among numerous others.

“So here we are here we are promising the American people hope and change. And what do we get? Business as usual.”

McCain said that he does not accept the administration’s line – as used by OMB Director Peter Orszag on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" – that this is last years bill so the president must sign it in order to move on.

“Americans all over this country hope for change. They hope that the corruption and the earmarking and pork barrel practices will stop. What are we giving them? We’re giving them a slap in the face,” McCain said, “And if it sounds like I’m angry, Mr. President, it’s because I am.”

– Sunlen Miller

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