Republican Rep. Don Young (Alaska) on Wednesday night was forced to defend an amendment to the Republican's budget that would benefit his state, after Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) charged that it was an earmark.
Young's amendment would have eliminated language in the FY 2011 spending bill that prohibits the Department of Education from funding the Alaskan Native Education Equity Act and the Native Hawaiian Education program. When DeLauro said this is an earmark and thus should not be considered under the Republicans' own rules, Young did not take it well.
"I'm deeply disappointed in the lady from Connecticut," he began. "This is a program that's been in existence for 1994, and you voted for it every time."
"I've heard you rail all night about restoring money which are all earmarks. You're dead wrong."
When the chair instructed Young to address the chair, not other members, Young barked: "Well, all right, I'll address the chair but I'll look over there."
"I'm urging my colleagues to vote yes on this amendment, and I say those that oppose it, shame on you," Young said in summation. "I've heard the bleeding hearts all night."
DeLauro said she was simply asking Republicans to either stick to the idea of eliminating earmarks, or not, which would allow other Democrat-favored amendments to be considered.
After a voice vote in which the chair said the "ayes" have it, a voice vote was requested.