May 18, 2007

MORE ON MURTHA:

Republicans will seek a House vote next week admonishing a senior Democrat who they say threatened a GOP member’s spending projects in a noisy exchange in the House chamber, Minority Leader John Boehner said Friday.

Their target is Rep. John P. Murtha, D-Pa., a 35-year House veteran who chairs the appropriations subcommittee on military spending. Murtha, 74, is known for his gruff manner and fondness for earmarks _ carefully targeted spending items placed in appropriations bills to benefit a specific lawmaker or favorite constituent group. . . .

According to Rogers’ account, which Murtha did not dispute, the Democrat angrily told Rogers he should never seek earmarks of his own because “you’re not going to get any, now or forever.”

“This was clearly designed to try to intimidate me,” Rogers said in an interview Friday. “He said it loud enough for other people to hear.”

House rules prohibit lawmakers from placing conditions on earmarks or targeted tax benefits that are based on another member’s votes.

Goading Murtha into doing stupid things seems like a winning — and eminently achievable — strategy.

UPDATE: Reader C.J. Burch emails: “The people that oppose porkbusters tacitly empower people like Murtha.”

Indeed.

ANOTHER UPDATE: More on Murtha here.

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