House Republicans Vote for Pork Wrapped In an Unconstitutional Department
Cato analyst Tad DeHaven points to some depressing votes on amendments to the recent congressional appropriations for the Department of Energy. But wait -- the Department of Energy? If the GOP reps stuck to their principles, they would have voted for exactly zero appropriations for the DOE. What enumerated power authorizes the DOE? None! Get rid of it!
Anyway, I'm pretty sure DeHaven agrees with that fundamental point, but he was reporting on an even more depressing development. Not only did the GOP fail even to attempt to kill DOE, many Republicans joined with Democrats to maintain the department's worst corporate welfare programs. Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) introduced an amendment to eliminate the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy account at the Department of Energy and use the $1.45 billion in savings toward deficit reduction. But the House rejected McClintock’s amendment, with 107 Republicans joining every Democrat in opposition.
Then Rep. McClintock tried to get rid of the DOE loan guarantee program -- the very program that brought us Solyndra. He even got Dennis the Menace Kucinich to co-sponsor. This time 127 Republicans voted to maintain the program.
And these are the crazy, right wing fanatics of NYT fantasy. I can't think of a stronger argument in favor of a radical devolution of power to the states. Congress has a way of turning all but the most principled conservatives into statists.