U.S. Congressmen for L.A. deny access to proposed earmark spending

houseofreps.jpgIn an effort to find out if Congress has been holding true to its promises of becoming more open and transparent, CNN recently unleashed its interns on 435 Representatives to request their lists of earmark requests for next year’s budget. Only 31 responded with a list, while 68 flat out declined. The rest didn’t respond or flaked on getting back to CNN.

Democrats are sidestepping rules approved their first day in power in January to clearly identify “earmarks” lawmakers’ requests for specific projects and contracts for their states in documents that accompany spending bills. (from the Associated Press via ABC News, June 3rd)

But how about our Representatives? Out of the twelve Los Angeles area Congressmembers, one straight out refused (Hilda Solis of the 32nd District) and eleven never responded to CNN (although Juanita Millender-McDonald of the 37th district had a good excuse – she passed away in April).

Should you care? Well, we vote on these guys, and our tax dollars pay their salary… and their pension. So how else they’re planning on spending our money is indeed all of our concern… well, thats just this blogger’s opinion.

I encourage readers and other bloggers to contact our reps and see if they can find out either what they’re planning on spending our money on, or at the very least why they don’t want to share it with their constituents. After the jump I’ve provided a list of Congresspeople representing the Los Angeles area, along with their phone numbers.

…photo by Lush.i.ous, used under Creative Commons

The following information is culled from Contacting Your Congress, followed with notes from CNN on the Representatives response to their request for a list of earmarks.

Representative Howard L. Berman (D – 28)
phone: 202-225-4695 fax: 202-225-3196 no response
Representative Adam Schiff (D – 29)
phone: 202-225-4176 fax: 202-225-5828 left voicemail
Representative Henry A. Waxman (D – 30)
phone: 202-225-3976 fax: 202-225-4099 left message
Representative Xavier Becerra (D – 31)
phone: 202-225-6235 fax: 202-225-2202 said he would email
Representative Hilda A. Solis (D – 32)
phone: 202-225-5464 fax: 202-225-5467 said NO
Representative Diane E. Watson (D – 33)
phone: 202-225-7084 fax: 202-225-2422 left a message
Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard (D – 34)
phone: 202-225-1766 fax: 202-226-0350 left a message
Representative Maxine Waters (D – 35)
phone: 202-225-2201 fax: 202-225-7854 left a message
Representative Jane Harman (D – 36)
phone: 202-225-8220 fax: 202-226-7290 said he’ll get back to us
Representative Vacant ( – 37)
phone: 202-225-7924 fax: 202-225-7926 deceased
Representative Grace Napolitano (D – 38)
phone: 202-225-5256 202-225-0027 unable to get it by the deadline
Representative Linda T. Sanchez (D – 39)
phone: 202-225-6676 202-226-1012 left voicemail

8 Replies to “U.S. Congressmen for L.A. deny access to proposed earmark spending”

  1. Ever the cynical one here, but I was totally taken aback by the near total lack of response. Barely 7% response is unexpected and unacceptable from those we have trusted with putting for legislation to protect us and keep us growing. Maybe they were too busy reterming their earmarks to get them through unnoticed?

    Drier who reps my area didn’t respond, but thats not surprising as he’s a republican and this was a democratic party rule. Absent digging through the responses I wonder if any were outside the democrats. Seems like this would have been at least a good pr move to respond than do nothing.

    So the greater question is why do we keep re-electing the same group over and over and over blindly accepting this promise one thing do another?

  2. Very interesting. And Frazgo, even though Dreier is a Republican in a Democratic Congress, you would think the Republicans would take this opportunity to do what the Dems are not, and point fingers.

  3. Denies access to?

    Do you think federal money is spent in the dark or in secret bills? It’s all public information. They may be refusing to do CNN’s homework for them, but that’s the big offense here, not some crazy, shadow congressional process.

    More to the point, it’s only evil porkbarreling or “earmarking” if it goes to someone else’s district. I say go for it to my member if she makes sure tax money comes BACK to the district in the form of infrastructure improvements, services, jobs, etc. If your member can’t bring home the back, vote for someone who can.

  4. “They may be refusing to do CNN’s homework for them…”

    In all sincerity, how then would a normal citizen be able to find out what earmarks their local reps are asking for?

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