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Rep. Jim Cooper zombies again! re: “zombie earmark” of Rep. Joe Wilson (updated to include Rep. Adam Smith)

May 9, 2014

The Tenessean: “Rep. Jim Cooper battles ‘zombie earmark’” by Paul C. Barton:

“This isn’t just an earmark,” Cooper said. “This is a zombie earmark.”

zombie jim cooper

Recall two years ago, Congressman Cooper said “zombie Congress” to refer to the lame duck session that faced taxmageddon eventually jumped the fiscal cliff.

This ZombieLaw blog was still relatively new at that time, but by some coincidence, the ZombieLaw post that referred to Rep. Cooper’s “zombie Congress” made reference to a previous Congressional usage of “zombie” by Rep. Jared Polis. Polis said “zombie earmarks” just a few weeks before, see ZombieLaw: “Congressman attacks Zombies on the floor of US House

Based on Barton’s reporting, Rep. Cooper was not on the House floor but rather in Committee, Barton writes:

As the House Armed Services Committee considered its annual bill authorizing national defense programs and policies,

Searching CSPAN now, there is links for the House Armed Services Committee markup of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act in multiple parts, the most recent is part five from yesterday. Presumably, part six will post soon and perhaps that is where this Cooper quote will be (?). I will try to update this post later with appropriate links.


After repeatedly checking back for CSPAN to post a part six, it turns out this “zombie” was a day earlier than reported, in Part 5 of the Markup from Wednesday, May 7th, at the 2:27:10 in the video (about 10:13pm Eastern Time). Representative Cooper calls it a “dead project”, refers to the “virgin birth” and says:

if we’re gunna earmark something let’s not earmark it for zombies, there’s gotta be a better way … we gotta stop this foolishness

Then about 5 minutes later, Rep. Adam Smith says the earmark part is less important than that the project is going “nowhere”, and therefore

Mr. Cooper’s better argument is the zombie part of it … earmark or no earmark, it’s a waste of money

zombie congress rep adam smith

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