“As long as I’m the Speaker, there will be no earmarks.” – Speaker of the House John Boehner – July 2014
Boehner is still Speaker, having been re-elected to the post for the third time by his members last week.
Believe it or not, many members of Congress, including Republicans, have been pushing for some time to end the ban on earmarks which was put in place in March of 2010. Senator Harry Reid pressed for reinstatement of the earmark privilege last summer, saying, ” I am proud of all the earmarks I have gotten for the state of Nevada. They’ll come back — it’s only a question of time because that’s our constitutional obligation.”
An amendment to roll back the moratorium on earmarks, led by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), was brought to a House vote last Friday, and failed by a 2.5 to 1 margin.
Good. Apparently they get it.
Earmarks represent everything that is ugly about DC politics. “Bringing Home the Bacon” is largely responsible for our $17 trillion debt. Control over earmark awards has been a weapon used by house leadership in the past to bludgeon members into line. One of the more infamous recent earmarks was the $223 million “Bridge to Nowhere,” which cost Alaska congressman Ted Stevens his political career. “Material Girl” Nancy Pelosi steered hundreds of millions of dollars to her home district via earmarks.
Senator Tom Coburn has been a long-time opponent of pork-barrel spending and especially the use of earmarks, calling it the “gateway drug to Washington’s spending addiction.”
The “wave” election of 2014 places a heavy responsibility on Republicans to restore fiscal sanity to our federal government. That even a few Republicans considered eliminating the ban on earmark spending is disappointing. Let’s not go there again.
Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side
You don’t know what it means to win
Come down and see me again
Been down one time
Been down two times
I’m never going back again
Never Going Back Again – Lyndsey Buckingham
Cool live version of a Fleetwood Mac classic!