Politics | 16 Emanuel earmarks in federal spending bill | Seattle Times Newspaper: "WASHINGTON — Although President Obama has repeatedly pledged to ban congressional earmarks, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel has 16 such projects, worth $8.5 million, in the bill the Senate is to begin debating today.
The earmarks include money for a Chicago planetarium and a Chicago suburb. Obama has been relentless in criticizing the use of earmarks; in his address to a joint session of Congress last week, he boasted how the economic-stimulus package was 'free of earmarks.'
By the end of this week, however, Obama's likely to sign a separate $410 billion spending plan that keeps most domestic programs funded through Sept. 30, the end of this fiscal year. It's a plan that contains about 9,000 earmarks."