On CNN's American Morning

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... according to a recent l.a. times poll, just 27% of americans approve of the way congress is doing its job. that's the lowest in more than a decade. and joining us now is the democratic majority leader in the house, congressman denny hoyer joining us from capitol hill. thanks for being with us. >> good morning. >> question people are asking today is, what happened to the democrat's promise to shed light on the earmarks because this plan as announced seems to do the opposite. >> i think it does not do either the opposite and i think it follows our pledge. it is we are way behind schedule because of the necessity to pass 9 of the 11 appropriation bills left on the table when the republicans left town in december. that was one of our first orders of business. then we had to pass the supplemental appropriation for iraq which took a very substantial time and substantial staff time. then as you have seen there are 3 2,000 requests that were mentioned earlier. we adopted a rule that said before we ultimately adopt any of those earmarks we're going to put them on paper, have members certify they have no financial interest, which of course led to indictments and incarcerations in the past congress, and move forward with full knowledge of the public and full opportunity for people to see what we're voting on. >> but the original plan is -- >> john, let me finish. >> sure. >> the problem is, as he has pointed out, because we had to do so much backlog left from the last congress we were unable to vet properly and certify properly the 3 2,000 requests. neither the republican side nor the democratic side staff were prepared to do that at this point in time. but we had to move ahead with the appropriations bill. so what we're going to do, in august, long before these bills are adopted and before we leave for the august break, there will be a full listing of all add on projects suggested and supported by the committee, more than 30 to 40 days for the public to see those, discuss them, and put in their support or opposition to them. >> it's still different than the original plan which was to -- >> there is -- >> shine the light of day on it before it hits the floor. here's what congressman obey said the other day. quote, the only real opportunity you have to prevent something stupid from happening is to have the protection from the staff who know the most about these programs. the ""wall street journal"" wonders who this staff is. this is the same appropriation employees whose job it is to tend to the needs of the senators so they vote aye and the bill is passed on the floor. who is the people who are going to vote on these earmarks? >> the american public. it's going to be a list, available to the public, available to the members, republicans bd democrats on both sides of the aisle, unlike for instance some of the projects like the bridge to nowhere which nobody knew about until mots and months after it was passed. they're going to be able to see them, discuss them, talk to their member about them, groups and individuals are going to be able to see them. every member is going to be able to see them before we ultimately pass those bills. we think that's a step in the right direction. but it is not far enough. we adopted a rule that said, as i said, you have to certify there's no financial interest, members' names have to be attached to the request that is made and they have to be fully vetted. that's going to happen. it's late in the process. we regret that. let me say something, john. what we saw on the floor last night was we have the homeland security bill on the floor. that bill deals with border security, adding 3,000 agents, deals with homeland security, it deals with customs and immigration being beefed up, it deals with cargo and ports made safer. >> congressman, running out of time here. >> the debate that's going on is not on that at all. as a matter of fact, we think this bill is going to be supported by a substantial number of republicans as well as democrats. >> congressman hoyer, thanks for joining us. appreciate it. >> thank you.