The Michigan Daily - michigandaily corn
enate votes in droves to keep
earmarks in new spending bill
Wednesday, March 4, 2009 - 7A
In state capital,
and the economy
Sen. John McCain
attempted to strip
8,500 earmarks out
WASHINGTON (AP) - The
Senate voted overwhelmingly to
preserve thousands of earmarks in
a $410 billion spending bill on yes-
terday, brushing aside Sen. John
McCain's claim that President
Barack Obama and Congress are
merely conducting business as usual
in a time of economic hardship.
McCain's attempt to strip out an
estimated 8,500 earmarks failed on
a vote of 63-32. The Arizona sena-
tor's proposal also would have cut
roughly $32 billion from the mea-
sure and kept spendingat lastyear's
levels in several federal agencies.
Last year's Republican presi-
dential candidate said both he and
Obama pledged during the cam-
paign to "stop business as usual in
Washington," and he quoted the
president as having said he would
o line by line to make sure money
was spent wisely.
The White House has said that
Qbama intends to sign the legisla-
tion, casting it as leftover business
from 2008. Spokesman Robert
Gibbs pledged on Monday the White
House will issue new guidelines
covering earmarks for future bills.
McCain's proposal drew the
support of 30 Republicans and
two Democrats, and the outcome
reflected the enduring value of ear-
From Page 1A
Proponents of the legislation
point to this as a reason that tobac-
co sales won't suffer greatly from
the heavier taxes.
Despite tobacco's addictive
nature, Chuck Ghawi, the owner
of Maison-Edwards Tobacconist
in Nickels Arcade, is preparing for
a downturn in sales as a result of
the tax. Ghawi's shop deals largely
in the sale of loose tobacco, rolling
accessories and cigars.
"I can't see how it wouldn't have
an impact, especially duringareces-
sion," said owner Chuck Ghawi.
Ghawi added that sales numbers
have already been down over the
past months. He said many people
have reduced or eliminated their
From Page 1A
Future decisions, Berenson
said, will be based on his health
and ability to keep Michigan a
top hockey program.
"We talked about it. The
de artmenthas beenreallysup-
portive and flexible," Berenson
said. "From my standpoint, I
didn't want to guarantee any-
thing. I'm the kind of person
that if I say I'm going to do it, I
try and live up to it. But I don't
want to live up to something
that might not be working and
might not be fair to me or to the
team or program. If we go at a
ear at a time, I'm good with
Players were excited at the
prospect of their coach return-
log for a 26th season.
- "That's great news, for (the
sophomore) class and the
juniors. That makes me pretty
happy," said sophomore Aaron
Palushaj, who learned, of the
extension while speaking to
-eporters. "It's great to know
that. He probably could have
waited until after the season
was done but he did it now, so I
think it is going to give us a little
bit of momentum heading into
the playoffs as well."
Michigan is currently the
second seed in the CCHA and
after a first-round bye.
The hockey team will play its
quarterfinal matchup in Yost
Ice Arena against a winner
of this weekend's first-round
Berenson said, the Athletic
Department has not figured out
w ho will take over for him when
he decides to retire.
Both assistant coaches Mel
Pearson and Billy Powers were
noted by Berenson to be even-
tual candidates for the job.
"We've had so many ADs
really over the years that (find-
ing a replacement) hasn't been
a priority for them," Berenson
said. "But we're getting closer
to a time when it's best for the
team and best for me not to be
around every day."
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), left, and Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), right, take part ina news conference on Capitc
ington, Tuesday, March 3, 2009.
marks to lawmakers. While .polls
routinely show these pet projects
to be unpopular, local governments
and constituents often covet them.
tion to assure continued funding for.
several federal agencies past March
6. At $410 billion, the bill represents
an 8 percent increase over last year's
spending levels, more than double
the rate of inflation.
Republicans made two other
attempts during the day to reduce
spending in the bill, but failed both
Sen. Dan Inouye, D-Hawaii,
chairman of the Senate Appropria-
tions Committee, said McCain's
call to hold spending level with a
year ago "doesn't account for infla-
tion." As an example, he said some
programs would have to be cut if
federal workers were to receive a
The House passed the legislation
last week, and Democratic lead-
ers are working to clear it without
changes so the president can sign it
While Republican opposition
in the House focused more on the
bill's overall spending, McCain and
allies turned the Senate spotlight
squarely on earmarks.
these earmarks: $1.7 million for pig
odor research in Iowa; $2 million
'for the promotion ofastronomy'
in Hawaii; $6.6 million for termite
research in New Orleans; $2.1 mil-
lion for the Center for Grape Genet-
ics in New York," he said.
He also noted the legislation
includes 14 earmarks requested by
lawmakers for projects sought by
PMA Group, a lobbying company
at the center of a federal corruption
From Page 1A
"Over time, this expansion of
research facilities will allow us to
bring in millions more dollars to
the state and will lead to the addi-
tion of at least 2,000 high-paying
jobs for people who are working
within the research enterprise,"
she said. "This is going to be one of
the largest expansions of the Uni-
versity of Michigan in more than
half a century."
When asked what percentage
change in state fundingshe would
consider acceptable for next year,
Coleman said she didn't have a
specific percentage in mind.
"We've lost so much over the
last seven years that any increase
would be welcome," she said.
According to a Coleman's
presentation, Michigan cur-
rently ranks 49th among states
in higher education allocation
increases, besting only South
Carolina in that statistic. Michi-
gan is also one of only four states
that spends more money on its
prison system than on higher
Coleman stressed that in 1997
Michigan and North Carolina
From Page 1A
"I think having this informa-
tion and having a broader range
of students working on it, we
can get kind of a student move-
ment going for a tuition freeze at
the grassroots level," he said. "I
think that will make a big differ-
The survey results will also
help make the University more
aware of how big of a concern
tuition is for the student body,
"We want to get people fired
up about this issue and we want
to get people out there letting
the University know that they
care about this issue and that it's
important to them," he said.
The resolution also expressed
support for, Gov. Jennifer Gra-
nholm's proposed tuition freeze,
both funded higher education at
about the same levels. However,
she said that since then North
Carolina has increased funding
for higher education by approxi-
mately $2 billion, while Michigan
has only increased funding by
about $300 million.
Coleman indicated that an
increase in state funding would
provide more flexibility for the
University when considering next
year's tuition rates.
"Of course the increase of what
the state can provide, there's a
direct relationship with what we
have to charge for tuition," she
said. "So the more the state can
give us, the lesswe have to depend
on tuition increases."
Coleman said she and other
University administrators would
be open to working with the gov-
ernor, legislators and others in
brainstorming ways to effectively
use money to help both the Uni-
versity and the state.
Granholm submitted her bud-
get proposal to the Michigan
legislature on February 12. The
proposal is now being consid-
ered and revised by the Michigan
House and Senate.
though only if the state's funding
stant for the upcoming academic
year. Restrictions in the federal
stimulus bill recently passed by
Congress require the state to
maintain 2008 funding levels in
order to receive stimulus money.
Bekkers said he thinks keep-
ing tuition affordable is an inte-
gral part of maintaining a diverse
atmosphere at the University.
"I think a tuition freeze or at
least looking into making col-
lege more affordable is abso-
lutely necessary to maintaining
this diverse community at the
school and making sure that
education is actually attain-
able," he said.
This resolution is scheduled to
be voted on at next week's MSA
- Sarah Zawacki
contributed to this story.
tobacco consumption to cut down
on personal spending.
Rolling cigarettes instead of
buying manufactured ones has tra-
ditionally been a way for budget-
conscious smokers to stretch their
dollars. A pound of loose tobacco
typically sells for between $15 and
$25 and yields roughly two full car-
tons of cigarettes, while the aver-
age cost of a carton of cigarettes
- which contains 10packs of ciga-
rettes - retails for upwards of $50
The tax increase is designed to
be a moneymaker for the federal
government's newly expanded chil-
dren's health care program.
Rep. JohnDingell (D-Ann Arbor)
an advocate for the expansion of
SCHIP and a co-sponsor of the
original bill passed in 1997, praised
the additional funding.
"High health care costs are
straining already-strapped families
nationwide. Nowhere is this truer
than in my home state of Michigan,
where the unemployment rate tops
10 percent," Dingellwrote inastate-
ment released shortly after the act
was signed into law. "With families
struggling to save for retirement,
save for college, and pay their mort-
gage, this legislation will help state
governments provide health care to
children who otherwise would be
the tobacco tax increase, the bill was
passed with some bipartisan sup-.
port Along with Dingell, freshman
Rep. Mark Schauer (D-Battle Creek)
voted in favor of the bill, which
passed with a vote of 289 -139 in the
U.S. House of Representatives.
Two similar versions of the leg-
islation were passed by the House
over the past several years, but
were subsequently vetoed by Presi-
dent George W. Bush.
"I am pleased that today we will
have a bill to send to the President
to get signed into law," Dingell
wrote. "And this time there will be
no veto pen to stand in the way of
providinghealth coverage to11mil-
With the current budget crunch
in Michigan, Gov. Jennifer Gra-
nholm has also proposed an
increase in the state tobacco tax.
The state currently has a 32 per-
cent tax on the wholesale price of
all tobacco products, except ciga-
rettes, which are taxed $2 per pack.
The proposed increase would dou-
ble the current tax to 64 percent of
the wholesale price.
Although the legislation is cur-
rently being debated in the state
House, it has been widely opposed
by House Republicans.
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For Thursday, March 5, 2009
(March 21 to April 19)
Don't let others dissuade you from
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(April 20 to May 20)
Conversations with bosses, parents
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Explore unknown regions and beautiful
(June 21 to July 22)
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property or decide how certain things are
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too generous or even confused.. You
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(July 23 to Aug. 22)
You feel a lot of empathy for a partner
or close friend today, and perhaps the
situation is returned. Nevertheless, it's as
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(Aug. 23 to Sept. 22)
Be extra clear in all your comniuica-
tions at work today. Assume nothing. If
you think something fishy is going on, it
is. All communication is fuzzy today!
(Sept. 23 to Oct. 22)
This is a wonderful day for creative
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(Oct. 23 to Nov. 21)
Be cautious in family discussions
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Avoid important topics, especially with
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(Nov. 22 to Dec. 21)
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Be careful with financial matters
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You feel like your antennas are out
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Daydreams and imaginary conversa-
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0 2009 King Features Syndicate,tInc.
MICHIGAN - ARE You Ready To
Walk The Red Carpet on Thursday
March 12, 2009?