House Republicans pass moratorium on earmarks

House Republicans approved a measure to impose a moratorium on earmark spending, following their counterparts in the Senate who voted overwhelmingly on a similar proposal earlier this week.

Wisconsin Rep.-elect Sean Duffy proposed the measure, which imposes a non-binding restriction on Republican House members, and it was approved unanimously Thursday morning in a closed-door meeting, according to Speaker-elect John Boehner of Ohio.

“Earmarks have become a symbol of a Congress that has broken faith with the people,” Boehner said in a statement. “This earmark ban shows the American people we are listening and we are dead serious about ending business as usual in Washington.”

Republicans are using the voluntary moratoriums passed this week to criticize Democrats, who have yet to impose restrictions on their members. There are only two Democratic senators who support a bill to ban earmarks, and Majority Leader Harry Reid has been outspokenly against halting the practice, calling it “a tremendous step backwards” that “just gives more power to the executive.”

Republicans have said that they will tolerate the use of earmark spending in “emergency” situations when they have to spend quickly on natural disasters in their home districts.

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  • loudog

    Meanwhile, the wars continue unfunded, prescription drug coverage goes unfunded, unemployment benefits expire, our manufacturing base continues to be exported to the third world, and conservatives want to shut down government to “stop the spending”. Ok conservatives, besides the earmarks stunt, where are you going to cut a trillion dollars/yr? Cut your own medicare part D plan? End the wars and close bases around the world? Solve the increasing costs of medicare?

    Stopping earmarks doesn’t save money, it just changes who gets to spend it, from congress to the executive branch.

  • clw

    Why a moratorium and not a permanent END to it? (Rhetorical)

    Even IF earmarks are 1% of government spending it’s still ALOT of money… here’s an example from Mar 2009:

    “The latest tirade has come from Republicans, who have sought unsuccessfully to amend the $410 billion fiscal year 2009 omnibus spending bill passed by the Senate on Tuesday night. That bill is estimated to have $7.7 billion worth of earmarks requested by lawmakers — or about 2% of the total bill”.

    7.7 BILLION dollars in earmarks requested, and as we all know, much of it hidden within legislation for other things, that are sure to pass. I don’t know why anyone would have a problem with cutting 8 billion dollars, and I’m sure that’s why we’re in the mess we are today.


    • oeno

      If they aren’t earmarked they just go to whichever agency they were voted on anyway.

      So while you are complaining about earmarks, it just means that DoT, etc. just spend that money through the executive branch.

      I never thought this was rocket science, but apparently it is for some people.

      • PolyIndependent

        Both republicans and democrats love straw men. Things like earmarks, NPR, DADT, etc. are nothing but straw men to distract a gullible public from seeing the real problems. It allows the powerful 1% of this country to continue to siphon all money their direction while americans are at each others throats over non-issues.

  • rainmaker1145

    Stop criticizing. America will follow a leader who leads by example and not by pointing the finger at others. We already had that with Obama and we don’t want it now. Do your own work and it will be appreciated on its own merits. This is all basic leadership and these people should be ashamed for having to have it pointed out for them. None of them will ever run for higher office as long as they act this way. Put the liberals out of mind and then it will be so.

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  • Momma M

    This is, in my opinion, a first step in a long journey along the road back to our Constitutional Republic.

    Better a small step toward our goals – than another leap away from it!

  • gooners

    Republicans pass a non-binding restriction and then criticize Democrats for what – not joining in their meaningless gesture? This is all for show until a major bill comes up and we see who sticks to the restriction, who doesn’t, and who has their own personal definition of what is an emergency.

  • crich

    Earmark are less than a half of one percent of government spending. It is where some of our tax money actually come back to us in the form of roads and projects. So what, we cut our on throats and get nothing from our tax money? What about the unemployed?No money for them either?


    • PolyIndependent

      The people on this site don’t care about facts or reality. They just want to scream “socialist liberal” all day. The politics don’t matter as long as they can scream and name call.

      • r37890

        That’s because it’s ALL BUSH’S FAULT!!!!! And the Tea Party is RACIST!!!!

        Yeah..right…it’s only those on the Right that “scream and name call”.

        • PolyIndependent

          You’re right. And people over on sites like Daily Kos are pretty much idiots as well.

      • thephranc

        For some one who has issues with facts and the truth a post like this from you is comical.