A day after Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., and ten other House members compromised on their pro-life position to deliver the necessary yes-votes to pass health care reform, the "Stupak 11" released their fiscal year 2011 earmark requests, which total more than $4.7 billion--an average of $429 million worth of earmark requests for each lawmaker.
The eleven members were the focus of high level pressure by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats because they threatened to vote against the health care reform bill, which passed the House on Sunday, March 21, by a seven vote margin. Granting earmark requests are one of the ways leadership can encourage members to vote their way.
When it was announced the other day that three little-used airports in Stupak's district were given about 3/4 of a million dollars on the day before the health care vote, Stupak made it clear that he would never sell his vote for so little. "It is absurd to think I would change my vote for a tow truck and a fence to keep deer from walking onto the runway of an airport in my district," Stupak said in a statement. So it should not be surprising that he is asking for more.