In a united front all House Republicans voted to end any earmarks in every piece of legislation for the rest of the year.
House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement after House Republicans adopted a unilateral moratorium on all earmarks, including tax and tariff-related earmarks.
“For millions of Americans, the earmark process in Congress has become a symbol of a broken Washington. Today House Republicans took an important step toward showing the American people we’re serious about reform by adopting an immediate, unilateral ban on all earmarks. But the more difficult battle lies ahead, and that’s stopping the spending spree in Washington that is saddling our children and grandchildren with trillions of dollars in debt. Only then will we have succeeded in bringing fundamental change to the way Congress spends taxpayers’ money.”
Democrats had a dissenting view on earmarks. “I don’t believe this policy or ceding authority to the executive branch on any spending decision is in the best interests of the Congress or the American people,” Senator Dan Inouye (D-Hawaii) said.
Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) Chairman of the Republican Conference Committee had this to say about the passage of the new earmark moratorium.
“Republicans are going to the American people and saying that we are making a clean break from the runaway spending of the past,” Pence said. We are going to start over and put the American people and fiscal discipline back in the drivers seat and that’s going to be quite a contrast to the House Democrats and this Administration.”
Congressman Pence explained that Americans don’t want this particular health care bill and are tired of the “cornhusker kickback deals” and the new measure by the Republicans promising no more earmarks will make it even tougher to push through the trillion dollar government health care entitlement program.
“The American people are on to this favor factory and earmarking,” Pence said.
He also admitted that Republicans were a part of the runaway spending, but they are united in reversing their credit card spending ways. “We are listening.”
In an impromptu press meeting, Rep. David Obey, (D-Wis.), chairman of the Appropriations panel, said the ban on earmarks to companies that make profits will mean 1,000 fewer earmarks and break the connection between campaign contributions and earmarks that has resulted in numerous ethics probes of lawmakers. But wasn’t for banning all earmarks.
It remains unclear if Senate members will vote on a similar moratorium, however the looming midterms will surely up the ante for political leaders looking for votes.