Tag Archives: Waters

Monuments to Me

Congressman David Obey

Congressman David Obey

If it seems common sense is sometimes lacking in Congress, well, it’s because . . . it is. A perfect example is the battle over “Monuments to Me.” “Monuments to me” are using taxpayer funds in the forms of earmarks to have something named after yourself — generally in your district but sometimes birthplace or other location.

A recent floor altercation between House Appropriations Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.) and

Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) once again highlighted this process.

Waters has been seeking $1 million for an employment center in her district that bears her name, but Obey has decided to ban any “monuments to me” when it comes to funding project requests this year.

You may remember the “Monuments to Me” first really came to light over a year ago when Congressman Charles Rangel fought for more earmark funds to go to the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at the City College of New York. The GOP dubbed the earmark as a “Monument to Me” and blocked the funding.

Back to common sense — it seems perfectly reasonable to ban this practice. We all know most members of Congress have huge egos, but using taxpayer funds to promote their own name while still in office seems downright scandalous or at least shameful.

Back to Obey – we praise him for stopping the Waters earmark, but let’s look why. The Republicans have vowed that any earmark named after a person in office will be blocked and have promised to force a vote on an outright ban of the practice. The Dems want to leave all options open and certainly don’t want to go on record on this issue.

So thanks to Obey, no “Monuments to me” this year, but who knows about the future.

This practice should just be banned forever.

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Filed under Federal spending, House Democrats