U.S. Senate Bill Targeting Berkeley Earmarks Falters

State and National Bills Still On Table in Aftermath of City Council's Marines Votes

Related Articles »

  • Printer Friendly Printer Friendly
  • Comments Comments (0)

Berkeley's City Council can breathe easy-for now.

A U.S. Senate bill that would have stripped the city of over $2 million in federal funding was defeated in a 41-57 vote Thursday. But similar bills are pending in the House of Representatives and the California State Assembly as the Marine recruiting center controversy continues.

The Senate bill, the Semper Fi Act of 2008, was sponsored by Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., in retaliation for City Council resolutions that called the Marine Corps recruiters in Berkeley "uninvited and unwelcome intruders" and reserved a free parking space for protesters from anti-war group Code Pink.

California senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, both Democrats, voted against the bill, as did presidential candidates and senators Barack Obama, D-Ill, and Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.

"I am extremely disappointed the United States Senate was not willing to stand up for our Marines when they do so much to stand up for us," DeMint said in a press release.

Feinstein and Boxer made speeches against the bill before the vote. Boxer said the bill would take funds from people and organizations which had nothing to do with the City Council-including UC Berkeley.

"My colleague and I are the first ones to say Berkeley made a huge mistake," Feinstein said in her speech.

In early February, Rep. John Campbell introduced a companion bill in the House of Representatives, which has not been voted on yet.

Ricci Graham, a spokesperson for Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, said that Lee was opposed to the bill.

"The congresswoman is always in support of the city of Berkeley maintaining the appropriations they've received," Graham said.

At the state level, Assemblymember Guy Houston, R-San Ramon, introduced legislation to withhold $3.3 million in transportation funds from Berkeley until the city reverses its decision to grant protesters a parking space. The bill will be heard in the Assembly Transportation Committee, but no date has been set yet, said Houston spokesperson Keith Ochwat.


Contact Kate Sturla at [email protected]

Comments (0) »

Comment Policy
The Daily Cal encourages readers to voice their opinions respectfully in regards to both the readers and writers of The Daily Californian. Comments are not pre-moderated, but may be removed if deemed to be in violation of this policy. Comments should remain on topic, concerning the article or blog post to which they are connected. Brevity is encouraged. Posting under a pseudonym is discouraged, but permitted. Click here to read the full comment policy.
White space
Left Arrow
City Government
Image City proposes major cuts to budget
Amid a grim national, state and local economic recovery forecast, the city ...Read More»
City Government
Image Local concern builds over Highway 13 construction
Some community members remain concerned that the ongoing expansion...Read More»
City Government
Image Sit-lie debate focuses on homelessness
Tonanzin Klote sits cross-legged with a feather in her cap and flowers tied...Read More»
City Government
Image Location restrictions could be ahead for Berkeley...
In response to a string of competing drug stores in B...Read More»
City Government
Image Downtown Area Plan takes steps forward
Years of planning, a referendum campaign and ballot initiative later, the m...Read More»
City Government
Image Some customers angered by SmartMeter opt-out plan
After being directed to create a SmartMeter opt-out proposal by th...Read More»
Right Arrow

Job Postings

White Space