Obama Will Sign Spending Bill Despite EarmarksNow we'll see if his fan club is willing to hold him accountable.
WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama will break a campaign pledge and sign a budget bill laden with millions in lawmakers' pet projects, administration officials said.
Administration budget chief Peter Orszag and White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel both downplayed the $410 billion spending bill and signaled Obama would hold his nose and sign it. Orszag said: "We want to just move on. Let's get this bill done, get it into law and move forward.
Said Emanuel: "That's last year's business."
The House last week passed the measure that would keep the government running through Sept. 30, when the federal budget year ends. Taxpayers for Common Sense, a watchdog group, identified almost 8,600 specially sponsored projects totaling $7.7 billion; Democrats say the number is $3.8 billion.
Either way, it is far more than Obama promised as a candidate. He refused "earmarks" for the economic stimulus package he championed and a children's health bill.
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