Emanuel Cleaver’s $48B Earmark: Cleaver’s Earmark Redistribution on Steroids

Missouri’s 5th District Democrat Congressman, Emanuel Cleaver, has proposed a $48 Billion earmark to pay for Phase I…only, of an urban development project – which is nothing more than a handout to inner cities – “earmarks on steroids.” Following the Cleaver story you’ll find information about how earmarks must be authorized and appropriated, but sometimes are not. To jog your memory, Cleaver is the Black congressman who claimed he was “spat” upon during a Tea Party protest of ObamaCare.

Emanuel Cleaver

From Cleaver’s office:

“The Epicenter is a proposed estimated $48 billion (Phase One) mass scale urban reclamation project for combating, reducing, reversing and/or eliminating poverty within under served communities by utilizing mass scale economic redevelopment to bring about stability and self reliance.

The short story from Southeast Missourian:

Cleaver provides a link to a Mickens “manifesto” where a lengthy agenda is outlined — but again with no specifics other than the rich should provide money to the poor so that the poor will have more money to spend.

Gateway Pundit has the copy of the Quality Day Care Campus, Inc. 2009 business registration. The “campus” is considered a tax exempt/nonprofit and operates out of the home of Lamar and Cynthia Mickens. Mickens is the president and treasurer.

Cleaver has proposed earmarks for the project in the past but each has failed. The question: is this earmark authorized and appropriated? I realize that the Omnibus is an Appropriations bill, but that does not guarantee authorization and appropriation:

Before money can be spent, Congress must authorize the expenditure first, and then must appropriate the money to do so. Without these two steps, nothing can be done….

There are really two different classes of people on Capitol Hill (and they overlap): the authorizers and the appropriators. Authorizers usually have the more august titles, such as Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Relations or Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Appropriators live in their own separate world, somewhat mirroring the authorizer world, and have such titles as Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture. (Sometimes, these subcommittee chairpersons are called the “Cardinals”) It isn’t quite a parallel universe however, since there are significant differences and different roles for each type.

Appropriations bills do not authorize…In order to appropriate money, the program (where the money is being spent) must be authorized.

The authority to create and the authority to appropriate are interesting elements to consider when monitoring and examining Congressional actions. Once you get used to it, it makes sense, but one needs to be very careful. The next time you read the beginning of a bill in Congress…check the wording. Does it say “authorization” or “appropriation”? Be careful, it makes a difference.

Here is a sad example of how our Congress plays the game of authorizing and appropriating:

For example, last Fall Congress authorized the construction of a fortified border fence between the U.S. and Mexico. Everyone thought it was done and that the fence could be built now. Congresspersons went home for Election Day and touted their achievement. But wait. They authorized the fence, but nothing had yet been appropriated to actually build it. Pretty clever; they got the credit (or blame) for the action but never spend the money.

In 2003, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reports that Senate Resolution 173 banned earmarks of unauthorized appropriations.

Note also that Democrats do not have a budget so it is unclear how Congress is keeping within law, or ‘rules’ to appropriate without a budget, which must include all appropriations.

Cleaver is known for his far-left antics. I’d say a $48 Billion earmark qualifies as an ‘antic.’ If you missed the “spat upon” drama, here’s the video.