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House Republicans say they will reject all earmarks

By Paul Kane
Upping the ante in the battle over which party can be toughest on special interests, House Republicans Thursday announced their entire 178-member conference would not seek any congressional earmarks this year, denouncing all of the line-item expenditures as wasteful and corrupting.

Calling the earmark process "a symbol of a broken Washington," House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said the Republican gambit was a key step in demonstrating fiscal restraint, even if the move doesn't lead to an actual reduction in federal spending.

"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," Boehner said.

Republicans took the step a day after House Democrats imposed a ban on earmarks -- which are inserted into the dozen annual bills that fund the federal government -- that benefit private for-profit companies. Democrats have left open the ability of securing earmarks for non-profits and municipalities in their congressional districts, arguing that the private-sector companies were winning what often amount to no-bid grants based on their cozy relationships with key lobbyists and well-timed political donations to senior lawmakers.

The Republican push for completely prohibiting earmarks came after a lengthy 90-minute debate behind closed doors, which attendees described as very spirited. Previous GOP efforts to reach such an agreement have failed, and after the long internal dialogue Thursday, the Republicans decided against holding a vote and instead simply approved the measure on a voice vote.

The move will reduce the number of earmark requests. According to Taxpayers for Common Sense, House Republicans, on their own, accounted for more than 1,200 of the earmarks, worth $1 billion, that were included in the funding bills for fiscal year 2010. House Democrats estimated that their ban on for-profit earmarks would slash 1,000 earmarks.

The battle now shifts to the Senate, where Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) announced Thursday he is offering an amendment to forbid all earmark requests from Congress until the federal deficit is eliminated. "We need a complete ban on earmarks until our budget is balanced," McCain said.

The Senate's top officers, including Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), are all current or former members of the appropriations committees, so securing such a prohibition against any earmarks might be an uphill fight in the Senate. In a close 2008 re-election campaign, McConnell campaigned on his ability to bring federal dollars home to his state. Reid, in a Thursday session with reporters, did not reject out of hand the chance for some earmark reform in the Senate.

However, top members of the Senate Appropriations Committee have issued staunch rejections of any push to rein in their ability to approve earmarks.

By Post Editor  |  March 11, 2010; 2:20 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , Capitol Briefing  
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Comments

I think every post I have read is missing the true implications of earmarks. The 1 to 2 percent of the national budget is a drop in the bucket when you consider that 1 to 2 percent is tipping the scale on the way our representitives vote. They are spending our money in ways their morals would dictate against. They are being swayed by these earmarks. They are being influenced by whoever happens to be in power. This is not the way our founding fathers envisioned out nation. An earmark is another word for bribe, except in our country it is legal. Now is the time for any and all Americans who value our way of life to get off your lethargic ass and stand up against the way our government is being run. I don't want to live in a third world country. Do you?

Posted by: jsw252 | March 16, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

I think every post I have read is missing the true implications of earmarks. The 1 to 2 percent of the national budget is a drop in the bucket when you consider that 1 to 2 percent is tipping the scale on the way our representitives vote. They are spending our money in ways their morals would dictate against. They are being swayed by these earmarks. They are being influenced by whoever happens to be in power. This is not the way our founding fathers envisioned out nation. An earmark is another word for bribe, except in our country it is legal. Now is the time for any and all Americans who value our way of life to get off your lethargic ass and stand up against the way our government is being run. I don't want to live in a third world country. Do you?

Posted by: jsw252 | March 16, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

We had better take them up on it before they change their minds.

We are headed for Greek style austerity measures at light speed, this might be a good start.

Posted by: wonderingstevie | March 12, 2010 3:01 AM | Report abuse


Whatever their reasons, it's a good idea.

Do the Democrats have enough guts to follow suit?

Do they have enough guts to make it permanent?

The ball is rolling. NOW is the time to get something done on this -- NO MORE EARMARKS!

It's interesting to me how many negative comments are here -- "Oh, their reason for doing the right thing is questionable"

Don't be stupid and look a gift horse in the mouth. Whenever congress does the right thing, we should be welcoming it with open arms, whatever the reason.

Posted by: postfan1 | March 12, 2010 2:47 AM | Report abuse

They Lie!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Of course, the money they want for THEIR districts isn't "earmarking"... it's necessary expenditures to satify the pressing needs of their constituents.

Just like how they turned down stimulus, but show up for the ribbon cutting.

Posted by: jade_7243 | March 11, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

All the anti-earmark bullpuckey posted here shows just how uninformed you people are of the good that they do. Small businesses that create the vast majority of all jobs in this country depend on earmarks to develop new technology that has an enormous benefit to the national defense and US commercial competitiveness. They also level the playing field for small businesses trying to compete with large US Corporations such as Northrop-Grumman and Lockheed-Martin, who no longer need earmarks but regularly get them as well as special appropriations added as non-earmarked line items in the federal budget. They are large earmarks nevertheless and make the 25 B in earmarks discussed here look like chump change. And after giving over a trillion dollars in bailout money to Wall Street, banks, and insurance companies, I think it is slightly if not outrageously disingenuous of both Democrats and Republicans to fall all over each other to save the public treasury from plunder by "special interests".

If anyone believes that there is a difference between Democrats and Republicans, you must live on a different planet. The Democrats are hostage to the left wing socialists and communists that are now running our government, and the Republicans are hostage to the right-wing nut cases they routinely embrace, but at the end of the day there is no difference between them, because neither does what is right for our country, only what is going to get them re-elected. Maybe some day folks will figure that out, and centrists from both parties will band together to form a political party that does what is right.

Bashing earmarks is just a political ploy to convince voters that our representatives are serious about reining in federal spending. After the legacy of the last administration and the track record of the present one,if you believe that then you are truly stupid. The majority of the sentiments expressed here indicate that once again people are not informed critical thinking adults, but lemmings jumping on a bandwagon. This too will pass, and next week you can all be giving your opinions on another topic.

Posted by: laserdavid | March 11, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

One small step for mankind.

Posted by: logicprevails | March 11, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

BULLFECES. Vote out all incumbents this fall and 2012. The crooks will get the message.

Posted by: tjhall1 | March 11, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

@bubba31138: If you asked me whether I thought permanently removing "wasteful spending," which annually comprises 1-2% of the federal budget, was a good idea, I would say 'sure.'

However, this is a pledge by just the House GOP to not request earmarks for THIS year (a time when they'll be in the minority). At best, this is a symbolic gesture that will do little to nothing to confront the country's long-term deficit problems.

However, the Post gushes that this is "a key step" in demonstrating fiscal restraint. In what universe is this superficial, temporary gesture a "key step" forward?

Posted by: routh | March 11, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

The same Republicans who released the joint statement today supporting an earmark ban requested a total of $244,787,304 in earmarks since 2008.

Posted by: bdunn1 | March 11, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Don't eliminate earmarks...ELIMINATE EARMARKERS.

For the next THREE election cycles, VOTE AGAINST EVERY INCUMBENT YOU CAN.

These crooks are like drug adicts..they'll say whatever they need to say to stay in office....Don't buy into this bull.

VOTE AGAINST EVERY INCUMBENT YOU CAN...JUST A FEW VOTES IN MOST DISTRICTS WILL SWING AN ELECTION and get the message across.

Waiting for term limits? -- they're scheduled to be voted on the year your great-great grandchildren finish paying off the debt....VOTE AGAINST EVERY INCUMBENT YOU CAN...House reps: two years to perform then OUT, Presidents, four years, senators, six years, then they're OUT.

CLEAN HOUSE. VOTE AGAINST EVERY INCUMBENT YOU CAN EVERY TIME YOU CAN.

Posted by: bgreen2224 | March 11, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

And the game continues. How noble. How long will the people tolerate this? Vote all the incumbents out in November.

Posted by: mocmao | March 11, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

If Republicans, Democrats and the US Media cared about the ballooning US deficits THEN they would be for Universal Nationalized Health Care as they have in UK, Canada, and all of the European countries because in all these countries that have Universal Nationalized Socialized Health Care, either single payer like UK or Socialized like France, Germany, etc. European nation, where everyone gets health care for free, or little costs, for the Taxes that they pay, health care is taking about 9% of GDP on average whereas in US where 50Mill have NO health care and 2Mill go bankrupt each year due to health care costs, health care is taking about 18% of GDP, which you can read here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_in_Canada

So if Republicans or Democrats actually gave a SQUAT about the ballooning US deficits then they would be for Universal Nationalized Health Care and that is why Margaret Thacher's Conservative party in UK, Angela Mekels Conservative party in Germany, Sarkozy's Conservative party in France, Stephen Harper's Conservative party in Canada, etc. ALL are 100% for their Universal Nationalized Health Care. Because a real Conservative, would be for SAVING money while getting the Job done, which is what Universal Nationalized Health Care does in regard to the health care costs of the country which is one of its most important costs and investments.

How does Universal Nationalized Health Care SAVES the US Gov $1.2Trillion per Years!

Now if you are asking how is that possible that under European, Canadian, etc. Universal Nationalized Health Care, health care takes 9% of the GDP? It is because one aspect of Nationalized Health Care is that health care is pretty much operated on a Not-for-Profit basis and also salaries of Doctors, health care execs and cost of drugs, etc. are capped by the Government. So just like the Government in US sets the salaries of a 4 Star Generals or an Admiral or a Federal Judge etc. etc., Governments in European, Canadian, etc. countries also set the price of how much health insurance companies or drug companies or anyone involved in Health care can charge, so that is why health care ends up costing a Canadian a princely sum of $59 per month and that is it, no co-pays, no deductibles, etc. and similar very small amounts or nothing at all, in all European countries.

Much more here:
http://anoox.com/blog/Real_News.35701

Posted by: RealNews1 | March 11, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Sounds to me like a major step in the right direction. So why all the complaints? One post herein even called it insignificant because earmarks reportedly amount to only 1-2 percent of the federal budget! One to two percent? Surely that would be a major savings if it could be attained. If one is serious about tackling the deficit, how can they belittle a savings of that size? I say fine, go for it!

Posted by: bubba31138 | March 11, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Of course Republicans will be totally unable to abide by this. But, if they should, just wait until the fall elections when they campaign on the fact that they have brought home NOTHING for their constituents.
Saying NO to all earmarks under all circumstances is absurd. Every single congressional representative makes their re-election possible by "bringing home the bacon".
It is NOT going to work for Republicans to simply say that any business in their state is not going to have to pay any more taxes for anything and oh, by the way, you don't get any federal money for anything that anyone calls an "earmark".
Think about it: people go to Congress to get federal money to bring home because the local districts simply CANNOT afford to build bridges, roads, railways, and lots of other things.
Republicans have demonized the word "earmarks" at the same time they know, full well, that their local constituents simply CANNOT afford to pay for all the things that ANY, and every, constituent actually needs in order to live a life where they can travel to and fro and cross bridges and etc.

Posted by: cms1 | March 11, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Ha Ha - those righteous Republicans in the senate are already complaining about losing those earmarks. And they will make sure the process starts up again after the election. What Hypocrites! They should all be in jail for what they're doing, anyway. I always thought these earmarks were for non-profit and municipalities. How can they get away with handing millions of our tax-dollars over to their corporate pals. We need to stop this.

Posted by: HemiHead66 | March 11, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

What a gushing headline, Post. The GOP won't seek any earmarks this year! Oh my!

This is supposed to be a "key step" in demonstrating fiscal restraint, huh? Then how come by most estimates, earmarks account for only 1 to 2 percent of the federal budget.

Touting a largely symbolic, meaningless move as a "key step" in demonstrating fiscal restraint is, in fact, a key step in delaying actual fiscal restraint. Well done, Post. Don't worry, everyone knows you're a neocon megaphone.

Posted by: routh | March 11, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

One person's earmark is another person's job. And right now we needs jobs, millions of them lost during the lost Bush decade. If they Republicans were serious about spending reform, they'd back campaign reform. But they're not serious. The centrist Democrats are only a little less serious. Now is not the time to be whining about deficits. Kansas City is closing half its schools. What the hell has happened to this country? We let Wall Street have its way with us.

Posted by: bdunn1 | March 11, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Why the dems aren't supporting it as well?

Can you read?

Nothing like reading the headline and ignoring the story. But, I guess that's why the country is in the mess it's in. Too many idiots voting based on the headlines without actually spending some time to read the story.

Posted by: hacksaw | March 11, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

This doesn't change much. I remember a few years ago when our Senator Kit Bond was up for reelection. He went through our area passing out earmarks to one little town and then another. Our little town got new lights downtown and a restoration for a historic trolley car that didn't even exist.

That kind of thing will still happen. And the house will pass the bills with the Senate earmarks in them.

Fortunately, we have another Senator who doesn't take earmarks as a matter of ethics. I admire her a lot.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | March 11, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse


There's an awful lot of whining here over what is essentially a good thing.

Earmarks are a bad idea, plain and simple, and should be rejected by both parties.

Posted by: postfan1 | March 11, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse


...liar liar pants on fire...


Posted by: moon-base-alpha | March 11, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Both - DEMOCRATS & REPUBLICANS are 'earmarks'! - Both, the RED & BLUE Paerties are Nothing but $Giant Earmarks against the U.S. Citizenry! - CONGRESS has $Bailed-Out the criminal Globalist $BANKsters whom caused this Economic $CRISIS! - And have done NOTHING for their' Boss,- the American WE-the-People!! - For decades - every CONGRESS has been in Bed with $Special-Interests, $BANKsters, $WALLsters, and Globalist Corporations!! -- This is Not My opinion,- it is a 'FACT'!! -- jward52

Posted by: jward52 | March 11, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Both - DEMOCRATS & REPUBLICANS are 'earmarks'! - Both, the RED & BLUE Paerties are Nothing but $Giant Earmarks against the U.S. Citizenry! - CONGRESS has $Bailed-Out the criminal Globalist $BANKsters whom caused this Economic $CRISIS! - And have done NOTHING for their' Boss,- the American WE-the-People!! - For decades - every CONGRESS has been in Bed with $Special-Interests, $BANKsters, $WALLsters, and Globalist Corporations!! -- This is Not My opinion,- it is a 'FACT'!!

Posted by: jward52 | March 11, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

It sort of makes you wonder why the Democrats aren't supporting this as well? LOL!

I am waiting for the day that politician stop collecting campaign contributions from corporations and special interest groups.

That is true reform, not these silly proposals!

Posted by: sanmateo1850 | March 11, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Nobody believes the GOP on this.

They know that, with reconciliation, none of their earmarks are going to get through anyway, so this is their "fake" promise.

Every time they get back in power, they do their utmost to bankrupt America and sell us out to their comrades in Saudi Arabia and China.

Every.

Single.

Time.

Posted by: WillSeattle | March 11, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Calling the earmark process "a symbol of a broken Washington," House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said the Republican gambit was a key step in demonstrating fiscal restraint, even if the move doesn't lead to an actual reduction in federal spending.

less symbolic boehneresque bull and more real action. maybe this is why the party of no has started 2 wars they couldn't win under the last admin.

boehner bull is not courage.

Posted by: xxxxxx1 | March 11, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

The GOP will just change the name from ear marks to porky bellies and all will be different and the game can go on and on and on.

Posted by: Freethotlib | March 11, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

What's that? We're the minority party and doing poorly in the polls? Time to get religion!

Posted by: presto668 | March 11, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Well then if the GOP is going to quit asking for money, then that means that none of the President's nominees will be held up any longer.

Right.

We are so on to the GOP it's really stupid for them to keep lying.

They say certain things out loud for their followers to hear, and then they crawl right back into their rat holes and get right back to work spending and borrowing again, and blaming others.


Posted by: lindalovejones | March 11, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

The GOP said this before and then turned around and took earmarks. They did the same thing with the stimulus.

They are just do as I say not as I do.

I just don't believe them anymore.

Posted by: Shingo56 | March 11, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

I would love to see all earmarks done away with. If these guys are serious then that is what they will do. If they want to stay in office then they need to do away with earmarks. Senator Reid better get use to the idea if he wants to stay the majority leader.

Posted by: rymp | March 11, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

I love all the outrage. the left wing anger all boils down to the 'you did it too' argument. there is no discussion at all about the merits. since republicans suggested it, it has no value. what a pathetic argument


Posted by: Spencer99

------------------

I think there is merit to it. I just doubt they'll follow through on it. You know, like term-limits, a balanced budget amendment, and line-item vetopower that was promised 16 years ago.

Posted by: BigBubba1 | March 11, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Too bad the Republicans didn't have the guts for fiscal restraint when they were in power. Boerner's rant rings very, very hollow.

Posted by: Ilikemyprivacy | March 11, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

If that's not the pot calling the kettle black.

Posted by: LactoseIntolerantNot | March 11, 2010 4:24 PM

How dare you play the Kitchen Utensil card ?

Posted by: gannon_dick | March 11, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

..."Strip all Republican Amendments OUT OF THE Health Care Reform/Bill! "Pass Universal Health Care/Public Option/NOW!

..."Its the right thing to do...

..."POUR IT ON......"POUR IT ON...

..."Steamroll right over the Republicans!

Posted by: ztcb41 | March 11, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse


Years late.

Clinton gave Bush and the GOP controlled Congress a large surplus in 2001 .. and they blew it to pieces, taking the nation's banking and housing system with it in the process.

A party of convenience. Their's, not yours.

Posted by: tslats | March 11, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

I love all the outrage. the left wing anger all boils down to the 'you did it too' argument. there is no discussion at all about the merits. since republicans suggested it, it has no value. what a pathetic argument

Posted by: Spencer99 | March 11, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Do not pass the healthcare and put the Nation into a Depression until new House and Congress are seated.
The people will not support it by remaining employed to tax. They will go on sabbatical to avoid jail as no pays, for as long as it takes to repeal it.

The people do not want it because
The Requirement for Constitutional Compliance Exists

The Rules of the House of Representatives, One Hundred Eleventh Congress, Rule XIII, Calendars and Committee Reports; Content of Reports, 3.(d)(1), which states,

"Each report of a committee on a public bill or public joint resolution shall contain the following: A statement citing the specific powers granted to Congress in the Constitution to enact the law proposed by the bill or joint resolution."

There also are other requirements for estimating and reporting the cost that the legislation would impose.

Look up Rules of the House of Representatives (http://clerk.house.gov/legislative/rules111/111th.pdf) and find the RULE listed on Page 25. to 28.

.

"All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void." Marbury vs. Madison

"No one is bound to obey an Unconstitutinal law and no courts are bound to enforce it." 16 Am Jur 2d, Sec 177 late 2d. Sec 256

"An Unconstitutional act is not law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duties; affords no protection; it creates no office; it is in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it had never been passed." Norton vs. Shelby County

"Where rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislaion which would abrogate them." Miranda vs. Arizona

HEALTH CARE is an Oath of Office Violation

Regarding HEALTH CARE and other legislation now in Congress ...

Article 1, Section 8, of the U. S. Constitution defines what Congress is allowed to do.

The 9th and 10th Amendments to the U. S. Constitution prohibit Congress from doing anything not authorized by Article 1, Section 8, of the U.S. Constitution.

Health Care is not a Constitutionally authorized federal government activity.

Participation in creating, or amending, Health Care legislation is a violation of the Oath of Office.

Voting to approve Health Care legislation is a violation of the Oath of Office.

Violation of the Oath of Office is sufficient cause for immediate and permanent removal from office, retroactive to the date of first violation even if that violation occurred many years or decades ago, including requirement that an Oath of Office violator return all pay and expense reimbursements and have all personal recorded votes voided and removed from the legislative record back to the date of first violation.

Posted by: dottydo | March 11, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

...and the Demcraots health bill is FULL of giveaways and backroom deals. The ball is now in the Dems court - do they care about America and the budget deficit, or just getting their own "pork" pushing Obama's socialist agenda?

Posted by: Realist20 | March 11, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

I am not impressed. It's disingenous, as somebody else pointed out. They know the Senate is not going to go for it. And even if they do--which they won't--they'll put in loopholes big enough to drive fleets of trucks through.

Posted by: nicekid | March 11, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

If true then we have plenty of money for health care-pass the health care bill.

Unfortunately the GOP does two things well;LIE
and DO NOTHING.

Posted by: COWENS99 | March 11, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

dis·in·gen·u·ous

Posted by: whocares666 | March 11, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

With the Dems spending money on everything there won't be any money left for earmarks. The Dems do not know the meaning of fiscal restraint. They can't even live up to the pay-go rules.

Posted by: jschmidt2 | March 11, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

"Upping the ante in the battle over which party can be toughest on special interests, House Republicans Thursday announced their entire 178-member conference would not seek any congressional earmarks this year..."

_____________________________________

As usual with the goobers, politics has triumphed policy.

To prevent the Democrats' ban on earmarks for for-profit companies getting all the headlines, the House goobers propose a total ban -- but for just THIS YEAR.

See, folks, as ever the goobers aren't serious about curtailing spending and corruption.

What a bunch of clowns.

Posted by: WhatHeSaid | March 11, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

The "House" Repubs voted not to try to get any earmarks -- NOT the "Senate" Repubs. Let's see if they will do the same thing. So I guess that means that Repubs will get their earmarks anyway thru the Senate.

Posted by: lddoyle2002 | March 11, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

What a bunch of clowns are the GOP! They sure liked all those earmarks during the Bush/Cheney years and didn't mind enabling that Administration in running up record deficits. Hmm..I wonder how the Governors in their states will like passing up money for projects in their respective states?

Posted by: lddoyle2002 | March 11, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

"Republicans took the step a day after House Democrats imposed a ban on earmarks -- which are inserted into the dozen annual bills that fund the federal government -- that benefit private for-profit companies."

So why was the fact that the House Dems actually PASSED LEGISLATION yesterday, banning earmarks for for-profit companies, not being discussed.

Posted by: newsmctado | March 11, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

What a gushing headline, Post. The GOP won't seek any earmarks this year! Oh my!

This is supposed to be a "key step" in demonstrating fiscal restraint, huh? Then how come by most estimates, earmarks account for only 1 to 2 percent of the federal budget.

Touting a largely symbolic, meaningless move as a "key step" in demonstrating fiscal restraint is, in fact, a key step in delaying actual fiscal restraint. Well done, Post. Don't worry, everyone knows you're a neocon megaphone.

Posted by: routh | March 11, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

John 'Agent Orange' Boehner - Still the Enemy of the People!

Posted by: Patriot3 | March 11, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

From dkp01:

"Boehner, I love your temporary one-year ban and I'mma let you finish, but the Democrats' permanent ban on for-profit earmarks is the greatest earmarks ban of all time. OF ALL TIME."

F____ing awesome! LMAO

Posted by: fbutler1 | March 11, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Hilarious! How nice of the GOP to prohibit earmarks when they are no longer in power. Why not try to force Obama and the Dems to govern without spending any money at all??

Posted by: vfazio | March 11, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Republicans (except McCain) loved earmarks when they were in control.

Posted by: pepperjade | March 11, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Another feather in the cap for the GOP for a November 2010 rout and takeover of Capitol Hill, while the Dems will continue to feed at the torugh of taxpayer funds!

Posted by: Realist201 | March 11, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse


====

Right, because the Republican faithful will have forgotten *or ignore) the "just this year" part of the announcement. Kinda takes the teeth right out of it.

Sounds like business as usual from the Republicans - make their followers believe that they are fiscally responsible *until* they are in the majority. If they think the earmark process is "a symbol of a broken Washington," then why don't they just ban them outright???

Posted by: mikem1 | March 11, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Wow, as always, Republicans appear to be great followers. It's kind of sad that they couldn't have come out at the same time, yesterday, with this WITH Democrats. Of course, they upped the ante. They say this now, I guess the plan is to continue to stall every bill and blame not getting money for their constituents on Democrats (always turning positives [fiscal restraint, in this case] into a negative). It's a pity they couldn't do this - (incoming Conan O'Brien reference)- "in the year 2000"....

Posted by: fbutler1 | March 11, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Bring it on. On top of that bring on TERM LIMITS for all members of Congress. We're all tired of the same politics in Washington. We want new ideas and new blood!

Posted by: patrick8 | March 11, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Until they regain majority power.

This ploy is so superficial it is laughable.

Both parties are addicted to pork barrel spending as a way to deliver the goods to the constituents; these guys cannot help themselves; they will revert to their bad habits and rationalize earmarks as either their priviledge or necessary to be sure their constituents get their fair share of the income redistribution.

Pork has always existed; it is just abused to higher levels with the modern Congress. It will continue to be.

Posted by: bobfbell | March 11, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Simple solution. House accepts Senate version. Obama signs. House passes revision that was to be signed at the same time as Senate version (original plan.) Senate passes via reconciliation (original plan.) Obama signs revision. Capice? Talk about dim.
----------------------------------
And why would the Senate vote on a revision to legislation that they already approved of and was already signed into law? Talk about naive.

Posted by: msully25 | March 11, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

But in all seriousness, if the left is smart, they'll counter the GOP's one-year ban with, "You know, banning everything sounds great. How about we do what you've said, except we do it permanently?"

The GOP will either have to swallow a bitter pill and vote to give themselves less spending power when they retake a majority, or they'll end up being "for it before they were against it."

Posted by: dkp01 | March 11, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Boy, the Dem's have the GOP running scared. Course, they aren't the most honest bunch. Let's see if it really happens.

Posted by: davidlhanegraaf | March 11, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Just sounds like the party of "No" saying "no" again. Why didn't they let their unofficial chairman, Mr. Glenn Beck, say "no" for them? I understand why they did not have GOP spokeswoman and future presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, say "no." She has trouble with those long phrases, dontchaknow? The Republicans need to stick to their goal of keeping the poor from affordable health care, they are so off target these days.

Posted by: thw2001 | March 11, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Boehner, I love your temporary one-year ban and I'mma let you finish, but the Democrats' permanent ban on for-profit earmarks is the greatest earmarks ban of all time. OF ALL TIME.

Posted by: dkp01 | March 11, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Excuse my skepticism... this is just opportunistic pandering at its most egregious. I smell re-election distress. Could it be that the rolling wave of incumbent removal sentiment has finally made landfall in Washington? You thought that tidal wave was big... wait until the morning after the elections. Won't be many left standing to decide what their next emergency maneuver will be. We'll be waiting and laughing at the ensuing high-jinks.

Posted by: JenAZ | March 11, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

"would not seek any congressional earmarks this year" and, once reelected, will go back to their old merry ways.

Posted by: demerrara | March 11, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

"Upping the ante in the battle over which party can be toughest on special interests, House Republicans Thursday announced their entire 178-member conference would not seek any congressional earmarks THIS YEAR, denouncing all of the line-item expenditures as wasteful and corrupting."

For one whole year! WOW! Why not forever?
The Republicans set records for the number and dollar amount for earmarks every year that they controlled the government. We the voters are at fault because we reward those who "bring home the bacon" and then gripe about all of the wasteful spending. "We have seen the enemy and it is US!"

Posted by: jslivesay | March 11, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Gimme a break... the latest Republican trick is COMEDY... they are determined not to let OBAMA and his administration govern... HOW did we get here... only God can help us if these WHITE guys don't win over the HOUSE this mid-term...

Posted by: America1st1 | March 11, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

That right a bridge to nowhere.

War contracts in our district.

No-bid contracts to the Iraq war and New Orleans.

More for me - Sen. Shelby and many others, even though I did not vote for the Recovery Act.

More tanning beds needed in Boehners district.

Posted by: jrubin1 | March 11, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone else get a strong reminder of Casablanca?

"I'm shocked... shocked to discover that there's gambling going on..."

Posted by: brcollins42 | March 11, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

I live in the deep south. The elected officials have voted NO to everything the new administration has proposed. Now, they are going to say YES to banning earmarks? What will they do, without bring home the bacon to their buddies?

Posted by: janetal2004gmailcom | March 11, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Maybe these geniuses that got into office--God knows how--(Dems and Repubs) understand that we are totally fed up with a system that uses our money to try to ensure their reelection. I believe that the penalty for attempting to put an earmark in the bill should be flogging and display in the stocks in front of the Capital. We are just not going to take it anymore. Our country is in severe danger in the coming years.

Posted by: Mindboggle | March 11, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

How funny that they made it a voice vote to avoid accountability of a paper trail! Now that;s a sign of what's broken in Washington. The GOP is being led by hucksters.

Posted by: protagoras | March 11, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

I am curious to see the work arounds both parties use to avoid circumvent these earmark promises they are making.

Posted by: msully25 | March 11, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Fei_Hu, the word is spelled hypocrisy.

Other than that, I agree with you.

Posted by: dotellen | March 11, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

This is another one of their diversions like tort reform, that when you do the math, only accounts for a tiny fraction of the problem.

Now, if they'd swear off expensive, useless, unfunded wars of choice, I'll be impressed!

Posted by: kenonwenu | March 11, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

My mistake, I meant to say 12 Trillion, but mistakenly wrote 12 billion.

Point is; The article says 'until all debt is gone (12 Trillion)' while ole' magoo's quote says 'until the budget is balanced'.

Which is it WaPo?

Posted by: Heerman532 | March 11, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

When will the Republicans do what they were elected for instead of play politics? I have some problems with my Congressman, a Democrat, and with the way the President has handled things but I refuse to support anyone who only wants to play politics and bow to the Fox News alter.

Posted by: MayorEd | March 11, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Here are the top 20 Senators on the list of earmarkers, and the amounts they set aside in just ONE bill--the 410 billion bill passed 3/10/2009:

While I'm sure each was "worthy"--the next time Republicans like McConnell, Inhofe, Shelby and Bunning talk about "fiscal responsibility' you might point out that 6 of the top ten are Republicans--and that the Senator for Alaska (population less than 700,000), got 2 million less than the Senator from Calif (population 37 MILLION)


1) Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va. -- $122,804,900

2) Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala. -- $114,484,250

3) Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo. -- $85,691,491

4) Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. -- $76,899,425

5) Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss. -- $75,908,475

6) Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska -- $74,000,750

7) Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa -- $66,860,000

8) Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla. -- $53,133,500

9) Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. -- $51,186,000

10) Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii -- $46,380,205

11) Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. -- $39,228,250

12) Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D. -- $36,547,100

13) Sen. Pat Leahy, D-Vt. -- $36,161,125

14) Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. -- $35,577,250

15) Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa. -- $27,169,750

16) Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev. -- $26,628,613

17) Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa. -- $25,320,000

18) Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis. -- $23,832,000

19) Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. -- $21,952,250

20) Former Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M. -- $19,588,625

Posted by: bklyndan22 | March 11, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Why for the whole year? They only need to ban earmarks through the first week of November. ;)

That said, this is the kind of one-upsmanship I like. Now let's see who can balance the budget faster!

Posted by: leftcoaster | March 11, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

"... their entire 178-member conference would not seek any congressional earmarks this year..."

this year. THIS YEAR? BIG DEAL! The Republicans loaded up on pork when they had the majority.

If they really want to one-up the Democrats, they should push for a law that permanently bans all earmarks, and any legislator that even mentions an earmark will be stripped of all committee memberships (including chair positions).

Posted by: dotellen | March 11, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse
--------------
They couldn't even get a written vote for it, they had to go with a voice vote so no one who really wants more earmarks has no record of suggesting it when everyone else is banning earmarks. How do you think they will be able to push a law for it. I think the Democrats need to write that law and see how many Republicans actually vote for it.

Posted by: ai3di | March 11, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

A nice gesture even if it has little impact on the deficit. Discipline starts with attitude. I think earmarks actually have a useful role in stimulating our economy, but they are overused as a vehicle for pork. I believe this proposal is primarily rhetorical by the house GOP as they know their colleagues in the senate will never approve it. This will go the way of campaign finance reform. South. Besides we all cheer when our district congressmen bring pork home (whom we reward through reelection) but we all cry foul when it goes elsewhere (and punish by not reelecting). That's just who we are. It's a bad habit we are all addicted to.

Posted by: citizen4truth1 | March 11, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

This is a gimmick accompanied by arrogance. The fact that the proposal is only for one year shows that the republicans hope to capture the majority in November, After that, it will be business as usual. The democrats want to remove the for-profit organizations from earmarks PERMANENTLY, that's a concrete step. While they are at it, why don't they also BAN ALL political contributions from the same for-profit entities?

Posted by: info22 | March 11, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry...the debt is $12.5 TRILLION....

Posted by: boosterprez | March 11, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Another feather in the cap for the GOP for a November 2010 rout and takeover of Capitol Hill, while the Dems will continue to feed at the torugh of taxpayer funds!

Posted by: Realist201 | March 11, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse
------------------
What, do Republicans get feathers in their caps for following suit now?

Posted by: ai3di | March 11, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

"...an amendment to forbid all earmark requests from Congress until the federal deficit is eliminated. "We need a complete ban on earmarks until our budget is balanced," McCain said."

Who edits this crap?

Is it "until the federal deficit (all 12 billion of it) is eliminated" or is it: "...until or budget is balanced."

There is a massive difference between the two.

Posted by: Heerman532
_______________

You are confusing deficit and debt. The difference between revenues and expenditures is called the deficit. Having a balanced budget would mean no deficit. The DEBT is 12.5 billion. The debt is the culmination of all deficits over time.

Posted by: boosterprez | March 11, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse


"... their entire 178-member conference would not seek any congressional earmarks this year..."

this year. THIS YEAR? BIG DEAL! The Republicans loaded up on pork when they had the majority.

If they really want to one-up the Democrats, they should push for a law that permanently bans all earmarks, and any legislator that even mentions an earmark will be stripped of all committee memberships (including chair positions).

Posted by: dotellen | March 11, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

It is too late for the republicans to appear in any way sincere or altruistic. They would only be doing this with some political motive.

That being said, yeah, right on, end all earmarks, period, for everyone.

Posted by: greeenmtns | March 11, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Another feather in the cap for the GOP for a November 2010 rout and takeover of Capitol Hill, while the Dems will continue to feed at the torugh of taxpayer funds!

Posted by: Realist201 | March 11, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

It's perfectly clear; now that corporations can spend unlimited amounts in elections, they don't need earmarks anymore. You'll have representatives that are rank-and-file employees of companies - for example; GE will just spend 5 or 10 million to have their own representative as will 453 other companies. They'll bury their opponents with money.

Then, they won't NEED earmarks, they'll just legislate money directly on behalf of their sponsoring company - no need to go in the back door anymore with any 'earmarks'.

Quite simple really.

Posted by: Heerman532 | March 11, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Banning earmarks sounds like one of those symbolic gestures that both parties know would never pass but it makes them look fiscally responsible.

And anyway, 'earmark' is not a dirty word in the first place. Elected officials are expected to bring projects and money to their districts. What's the point of voting for someone who wouldn't do that?

Posted by: EnemyOfTheState | March 11, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Probably a good gesture, but did they do the same when they were in the majority? If not, it's just a gesture and probably not relevant or sincere.

Posted by: gce1356 | March 11, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Whenever I read John Boner's name I LOL.

If John Boner wants people to take him seriously, he should change his name.

Can you imagine him running for President and people yelling "we want a boner", can you imagine what the signs would look like?, Then his opponents would say; "John Boner is totally LIMP when it comes to blah blah blah..."

Posted by: Heerman532 | March 11, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

if you morons had a clue you would realize that BOTH parties gobble earmarks up like fish food. they did indeed increase under the repub majority, but the Dumbocrats never abstained from the practice and have in fact CONTINUED it; even after Pelousi said the D's were going to clean up the Washington swamp. It is time to stop making excuses and start digging out of the financial hole that BOTH parties have gotten this country into.

Posted by: doughless | March 11, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Dems ought to respond by saying "great idea" and passing the rule change.

Though I imagine they will instead fall into the trap and insist on earmarks as a valuable tool for cutting through ineffient bureaucracy & lawmaking. Repubs will then beat them over the head with it in November.

Posted by: bsimon1 | March 11, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse
-------------
Didn't really read the article huh? The Democrats already agreed on no for-profit earmarks the other day, they left the ability to add earmarks for non-profits open though. Maybe they should eliminate all earmarks too, if that is what you are saying, then I agree too.

Posted by: ai3di | March 11, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

"...an amendment to forbid all earmark requests from Congress until the federal deficit is eliminated. "We need a complete ban on earmarks until our budget is balanced," McCain said."

Who edits this crap?

Is it "until the federal deficit (all 12 billion of it) is eliminated" or is it: "...until or budget is balanced."

There is a massive difference between the two.

Posted by: Heerman532 | March 11, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

"In a close 2008 re-election campaign, McConnell campaigned on his ability to bring federal dollars home to his state."

yeah, americans HATE pork. Unless it's THEIR pork.

Americans HATE corrupt politicians. Unless it's THEIR corrupt politician.

It's no mystery why america's government is a disgrace - because americans are a disgrace, and will choose pork and scraps of bacon from their corrupt representatives as opposed to voting with any kind of principal.

Posted by: vze2r3k5 | March 11, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Yes, it is true that "Republicans are paying a lot of attention to earmarks."
In fact the number and secretiveness of earmarks, not to mention no-bid contracts, exploded during the Republican takeover years of 1994-2006, in which they paid a LOT of attention to earmarks, enriching themselves, their favorite lobbyists, the lobbyists' clients, and Republican campaign coffers in the process.

Posted by: bethechangeyouwant | March 11, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans will just find another way to get paid off by corporate America- probably by way of the awful Citizens United Supreme Court decision that their stooges decided 5-4.

Never trust the GOP to help the working men and women of America. Never.

They're just repakaging the very same policies that got us into this mess.

Rep. Ryan of the GOP predictably tells the rubes in its base that tax cuts for the wealthy are the answer (I know! It’s amazing!)

here is what the GOP’s plan would cost America:

According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, "the Ryan plan would result in very large revenue losses relative to current policies."

[The Tax Policy Center] estimates that even with its middle-class tax increases, the plan would reduce federal revenues to 16 percent of GDP in 2014. Because the tax cuts for the wealthy would dwarf the tax increases for the middle class, the Ryan plan would allow the federal debt to continue growing for a number of decades to come, despite its steep cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/03/experts-ryan-roadmap-balloons-deficits-while-taxing-middle-class-slashing-entitlements.php?ref=fpa

Posted by: losthorizon10 | March 11, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm not at all sure what people mean by "earmarks." If the county I live in needs some roads improved/built and doesn't have the money on a local level, it seeks funds from the state legislature; if that entity doesn't have the funds, it may well seek them from the federal government through our Washington representatives. Those representatives then bring it before their fellow reps from all the other states, giving reasons why this improvement is needed; if found good, it's put into a bill, no? Don't we sort of expect our reps to do this? Maybe instead of doing away with so-called "earmarks," we need more openness, more accountability, more clear justification for our requests, and more understanding of how government works. To simply decide not to request anything for your state is simplistic and silly. Do they think we can't walk and chew gum at the same time?

Posted by: jujones1 | March 11, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

If that's not the pot calling the kettle black.

Posted by: LactoseIntolerantNot | March 11, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Good move. Now let's get all "off-budget" items on the budget, so we can truly assess the country's fiscal issues and fix them.

Posted by: Fletch_F_Fletch | March 11, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Republicans say they are worried about:
"massive Deficits in the US..",
"the Debt bomb..",
"US Government borrowing too much.."

Really?

Because it is their ideas, to be exact the right-wing ideas espoused by either Republicans or Republicrats* that have caused the current enormous deficits in US and causing it go to higher. To see
this FACT lets look at a country that has a huge Surplus rather than having a huge Deficit as US has. This observation
then should be a blue print for what we need to do to get US Deficits down and in fact have a Surplus, which Republicans claims to want.

So what large country is having a Surplus rather than a Deficit? It is China.

What is China doing different than US?

1- China does not have a Gargantuan Military budget. That is:
China's Military budget is about $50Bill which is proportion to the size of Chinese economy to the World economy to the World Military budget. Whereas US military budget is an astonishing $600Bill+, whereas
US economy is only 15% of World economy now. This means for US Military budget to be in proportion to the size of the US economy to World economy to World Military budget, then US Military budget needs
to be cut down by 85% to $90Bill per year. 2- Whether US has Military bases in 128 different countries, whereas US has Military bases in 10+ European countries and spending $50Bill of American Tax payers on these European bases only, China has ZERO military bases outside China. So what Military budget China has is all spend inside China whereas most of the US Military budget is spend in the bases that US has in 128+ countries.

2- China is not engaged in (unnecessary) Wars 10,000 Miles from its borders.

3- China has Universal Nationalized Health Care. Just like all European countries, Canada, Japan, Australia, Israel, etc.

Much more here:
http://anoox.com/blog/Real_News.38211

Posted by: RealNews1 | March 11, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

you morons miss the larger significance of the earmarking phenomena: even though the amounts are relatively small, it the prectice has reinforced and been a symptom of Congress' lack of accountability when it comes to this Nation's financial future. Even though a small step, it a least signals that perhaps members realize that the Nation's future is more important than their parochial interests. You know, Founding Father kind of stuff; e pluribus unum and all that. why don't you morons pull your heads out of you a**es.

Posted by: doughless | March 11, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

They'll just call it something else.

Posted by: JRM2 | March 11, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Good move. Should be permanent. Just another way to decieve.

Posted by: citigreg | March 11, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Dems ought to respond by saying "great idea" and passing the rule change.

Though I imagine they will instead fall into the trap and insist on earmarks as a valuable tool for cutting through ineffient bureaucracy & lawmaking. Repubs will then beat them over the head with it in November.

Posted by: bsimon1 | March 11, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

For the five months left in an election year? Woo-hoo! That's not cynical.

Posted by: SydneyP
_______________

Actually it's pretty significant, as between now and November Congress will have to pass the 2011 budget, the most common vehicle used for pork barrel spending.

I say 'better late than never'....

Posted by: boosterprez | March 11, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

jwallace2- What? Are you saying that you think the only way jobs are created by the government is via earmark spending? Or are you simply one who would stand to profit from potential earmarks?

Either way, it's not good.

Posted by: Comunista | March 11, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I'd be more impressd if they had done this when they were the majority party and if they hadn't let PAYGO lapse under their watch. Borrow and spend as the majority party, grandstand about fiscal responsibilty otherwise.

Posted by: jmdziuban1 | March 11, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Many of the posts here show just how moronic some WAPO readers are. Earmarks are part of the reason for corruption and stagnance in our political system. Congress should move to do away with the practice of earmarking.

Posted by: doughless | March 11, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

What crap on both sides. All earmarks combined add up to $15 Billion. On a $2 Trillion budget this is .75 percent. It's as if you make $20,000 a year and your wife spends $40,000. The next year she proudly announces a plan to saved $150.00. It means absolutely nothing.

Posted by: GabsDaD | March 11, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

ALL earmarks should be done away with...when we are in dire straights I never did figure out why the swamp mouse of Pelosi's was in there or the best that I can remember was the study on why pigs stink! Come on people some of these are way out there and are just a payback for some supporter. Do away with all of them the first one to sneak one in a bill must be brought before the people and explain it or give up their seat! Oh and the corn huskers kick back WRONG the Louisiana Purchase WRONG the Union kick back WRONG so I guess bribery and buying votes goes too!!! Lets do this right the first time!!!

Posted by: Immanurse | March 11, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

this is a VERY good move.

Posted by: doughless | March 11, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Why don't these clowns just say that they will not perorm the job that they were elected to do. So a GOP rep will not bring any jobs back to their constituency –which is essentially the reason for their existence, especially during bad economical times. GOP message to their people – DROP DEAD!!!

Posted by: jwallace2 | March 11, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

So here's the part I don't understand: The headline says "they will reject all earmarks," then later the article says, "The move will reduce the number of earmark requests."

How do you eliminate all of them without... really ELIMINATING all of them?

Posted by: portico6
__________________

Republicans only have the ability to eliminate THEIR earmarks...they have no control over what earmarks democrats include. So they are eliminating ALL of THEIR earmarks....

Posted by: boosterprez | March 11, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

OK, Dems. Here's how you "one up" the Republicans, who just "one-upped" you.

Go one step farther than merely banning earmarks from the federal government. Make corporations earmark their own funds for public purposes in such amounts and for such purposes as determined by Congress.

Do not confuse this radical idea with the outmoded concept formerly known as "taxes".

Posted by: wgmadden | March 11, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Republicans Hipocracy ...
Republicans Hipocracy ...
Republicans Hipocracy ...
Republicans Hipocracy ...
Republicans Hipocracy ...
Republicans Hipocracy ...
Republicans Hipocracy ...
Republicans Hipocracy ...

What can you say..

Republicans Hipocracy ...
Republicans Hipocracy ...
Republicans Hipocracy ...
Republicans Hipocracy ...
Republicans Hipocracy ...
Republicans Hipocracy ...
Republicans Hipocracy ...

Posted by: Fei_Hu | March 11, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Showboating.

Posted by: rlj611 | March 11, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Dubya1938, great idea! Ban all congressional perks. Give members of congress the identical benefits the average American receives. Not one more dime to be spent on Congressional dining, gyms, entourage and other wastes of taxpayer money. Time for austerity- I'm not holding my breath...

Posted by: mm14 | March 11, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

What complete BS.

Posted by: jwallace2 | March 11, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Earmarks are not bad by definition. Most simply designate a portion of an agency's budget for a specific purpose. Many direct a federal agency's work at the state/local level. (Such as telling the EPA that they have x dollars to use on project 1 in Florida and y dollars to use on project 2 in Montana, etc.) Eliminating earmarks doesn't necessarily save money - often, the funds would be in the budget anyway, but the earmark allows Congress to tell the agency what to do with it.

There are bad earmarks, but that doesn't make all earmarks bad. There are also bad laws, but we aren't doing away with laws altogether.

Posted by: acb1 | March 11, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Disingenuous, sanctimonious GOP rhetoric. The reality is the President has been calling for this since his inauguration. Instead of heeding to his calls for restraint, senior members in the party of NO (ahem, shelby) hold Congress hostage for their pet projects. The lame congressmen call this "congressional perogative". In reality, it's a holdup.

Stop the political games- I hope the Dems call their bluff by introducing a bill that PERMANENTLY bans earmarks, not just during the politically expedient election years.

Posted by: mm14 | March 11, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

LOL what next, no more congressional perks?

I can't wait to see how long this goes on. Aside from the inevitable debate over what is and what isn't an "earmark" either literally or figuratively, legislatively or functionally (assuming that there's a difference) this is going to be more fun than watching the Biggest Loser to see how long it takes each contestant to stop exercising, crash on their diet or totally lose it and make a public spectacle of themselves.

All 535 of them :)

go for it!

Posted by: dubya1938 | March 11, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

"How about just banning the practice altogether? That might actually convince folsk your serious about taking on special interests and returning the American government to its people."
******************
Except that they could just un-ban it at will by means of a provision slipped into another bill that no one could reasonably vote against, like funding for the war-injured, or the criminalization of kitten torture.

This is what I LOATHE most about the American legislative process. A given bill ends up changing the terms of dozens of government projects at once, making it impossible to attribute responsibility: was he intended to vote down change A, or just protesting change B?.

In what other country would unemployment insurance administration be held up by judicial nominations? Too bad no one cares or knows how to fix it.

Posted by: merkytimes | March 11, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

I've never had any problem with earmarks in general. Of course some are worthless, but others are very valuable. This is bunkum.

Posted by: jack_mo_99 | March 11, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

It is not that I am unexcited about the GOP doing this, but ifind it a bit disengenuous that they do this AFTER the Dems announced a similar plan yeterday with the exception of Non-Profits. the GOP was in power for years and chose not to addreess this issue, but th moment the Dems force them into a corner, they come out with an even BIGGER proposal and claim victory. What political gamesmanship.

Posted by: cadam72 | March 11, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

If the Republicans can come through on this then more power to them. They may advance their cause to "mostly no" status.

Posted by: hoser3 | March 11, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Operative words: "this year".

How about just banning the practice altogether? That might actually convince folsk your serious about taking on special interests and returning the American government to its people.

Posted by: BurgundyNGold | March 11, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

When it comes to fiscal restraint the Republicans take a back seat to nobody. Democrats forced Republicans to wage war on Saddam, cut taxes, twice, on wealthy people during time of war, and spend gobs on weapons the Pentagon says it doesn't need. The GOP is a victim. Democrats have set a bad example with all their earmarks. Republicans earmark only because they were lead to believe that was proper behavior inside the Capitol. Well, finally, the GOP has had a Come to Jesus moment. They want earmarks put off limits. Let us see how long it will take before a member of the GOP falls off the wagon. This is stagecraft, remember. Earmarks are often (but not always) a waste of taxpayer money. The money is spent to ram home the notion that Your Member of Congress brings home the bacon. To keep the money flowing, re-elect so-and-so. While a nagging problem that should be fixed, Congress's mismanagement of just about everything is the real problem. Didn't they vote us into Iraq without asking hard questions of Fearless Leader? Result: $1,000,000,000,000 swirled down the drain, the region is destabilized, and the Islamic Republic of Iran got a big boost. Boy, that's value for money.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | March 11, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

So here's the part I don't understand: The headline says "they will reject all earmarks," then later the article says, "The move will reduce the number of earmark requests."

How do you eliminate all of them without... really ELIMINATING all of them?

Posted by: portico6 | March 11, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

So, the GOP is finally backing up it's rhetoric. They didn't for years including last year, the first year of the current administration. I recall Lindsey Graham of South Carolina being called out for a $1M ear mark after ranting about them in 2008. Hypocrites!

Posted by: ajackson3 | March 11, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

It's kind of like closing the gate after the chickens have already escaped. The chickens being the Obama stimulus package (the biggest pork laden earmark bill in the history of mankind). Thanks, Obama! Now you know why no one trusts you and your healthcare reform bill.

Posted by: Digitalman08 | March 11, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

The Dems have shamed the Repubs into an actual YES vote. The party of NO! will need some extra medication tonite.

Posted by: chucky-el | March 11, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse
-----------------
The meeting probably went like this:
"Should we ban earmarks?"
"well were just going to say no to every bill that the Democrats try to pass anyways so any earmarks that we would want we would not be passing anyways"
"good point"
J/K

Posted by: ai3di | March 11, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse


Hello Dims,

Reconciliation is out the window just like I said would happen ON THESE FORUMS, happened: The Senate Parliamentarian threw out reconciliation as an option for Obamacare.

From Roll Call, and I quote:

Ruling Kills an Option for Moving Health Bill
March 11, 2010, 02:30pm
By David M. Drucker
Roll Call Staff

The Senate Parliamentarian has ruled that President Barack Obama must sign Congress’ original health care reform bill before the Senate can act on a companion reconciliation package, senior GOP sources said Thursday.

The Senate Parliamentarian’s Office was responding to questions posed by the Republican leadership. The answers were provided verbally, sources said.

House Democratic leaders have been searching for a way to ensure that any move they make to approve the Senate-passed $871 billion health care reform bill is followed by Senate action on a reconciliation package of adjustments to the original bill. One idea is to have the House and Senate act on reconciliation prior to House action on the Senate’s original health care bill.

Information Republicans say they have received from the Senate Parliamentarian’s Office eliminates that option. House Democratic leaders last week began looking at crafting a legislative rule that would allow the House to approve the Senate health care bill, but not forward it to Obama for his signature until the Senate clears the reconciliation package.


Posted by: screwjob11 | March 11, 2010 3:13 PM
___________________________________________
Simple solution. House accepts Senate version. Obama signs. House passes revision that was to be signed at the same time as Senate version (original plan.) Senate passes via reconciliation (original plan.) Obama signs revision. Capice? Talk about dim.

Posted by: Lefty_ | March 11, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Earmarks should be eliminated. Just because some may go for a worthy project does not mean that this backroom, opaque, and unaccountable system should be a part of our legislative system. The honeybee research mentioned earlier may be good, but why should it be moved to the head of the line over literally tens of thousands of alternative "good" uses of the money? That is why there are grant programs -- apply and win on the merits, not because your Senator or Rep supports your cause.

Posted by: marlendale | March 11, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Once again, Obama and the Dems have the last laugh. The "R' party, which owes its very existence off earmarks to its lobbyist buddies, and has taken in huge money from special interests, took the bait hook, line and sinker. Obama raised the issue of earmarks and how they tie into lobbysists in the elction, McCain tried to wrestle it away from him and failed, miserably, and now the President had exactly what he wants ... Congress on the line to see they really have the guts to do this. Talk about a set-up, knock down, and strike! This was easy bowling.

Posted by: pookiecat | March 11, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

If you’re serious, put it writing, put it to a vote, pass it, and sign it into law -- then we’ll believe you.

178 GOP House members say they are committed. It shouldn’t be that hard to pull in more than enough votes from the other side of the aisle to make it happen....

That is if they REALLY want it to happen and aren't just blowing smoke AGAIN.

Posted by: asmith1 | March 11, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse
---------------------
I really wonder if all 178 of them are committed. It did say that "House Republicans Thursday announced their entire 178-member conference would not seek any congressional earmarks this year" but since they never went to a vote and decided on it with a voice vote, you can't really be sure if all of them were on board, or if just enough were on board to make the yes voice vote loud enough to pass.
I agree, both sides should put it in writing, put it to a vote, and pass it.

Posted by: ai3di | March 11, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Well of course Republicans are rejecting earmarks NOW!!! - cause they're surely not getting any candy from Pelosi for simply voting NO on every bill.
lol

Posted by: angie12106 | March 11, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Grandstanding. Earmarks are not a problem, per se: if there's a bad one, the watch dogs will call 'em out. As a whole, earmarks are a fraction of the entire federal budget. The military spending and current inability to control wildly escalating medical costs is the problem.

Typical GOP diversion. Pathetic.

Posted by: abqcleve | March 11, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

IF Republican lunatics or Dems gave a SQUAT about the deficits and too much borrowing, THEN they would be for Universal Nationalized health care, because in ALL countries that have Universal Nationalized health care, which is ALL European countries, Canada, Japan, Israel, Australia, etc. health care is taking about 9% of the GDP while in US where we have a for profit health care, health care is taking a deficit busting 18% of the GDP. This means if we switched to Universal Socialized Health Care we would SAVE the US economy, that is Government, people and businesses about $1.2Trillion per year while we would provide every American free or near free health care, to be exact free for the Taxes that they already pay, which means
NO Americans would be dying because of being denied health care or NO American will be going bankrupt due to health care
costs as NO European, Canadian, et. go bankrupt due to health care costs or die due to not getting health care because all
these countries have Universal Nationalized health care. And and that is why Margaret Thacher's Conservative party in UK,
Angela Mekels Conservative party in Germany, Sarkozy's Conservative party in France, Stephen Harper's Conservative party
in Canada, etc. ALL are 100% for their Universal Nationalized Health Care. Because a real Conservative, would be for SAVING
money while getting the Job done, which is what Universal Nationalized Health Care does in regard to the health care costs of
the country which is one of its most important costs and investments.
You can read much more in this regard here:
http://anoox.com/blog/UHC.34590
Instead not are Republicans NOT for Universal Nationalized health care they fight any such attempt tooth and nail, calling Universal Nationalized health care to be "Socialism..."!!!

Much more here:
http://anoox.com/blog/ThinkDeep.38199

Posted by: RealNews1 | March 11, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

The Dems have shamed the Repubs into an actual YES vote. The party of NO! will need some extra medication tonite.

Posted by: chucky-el | March 11, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

We need some decent Independent men and women to try to clean up this mess the Republicans and Democrats have devised!

Posted by: gunnysgt77 | March 11, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans made this move only after the Democrats did, only they went further and said no earmarks at all, unlike the Democrats who would consider earmarks for non-profit organizations.
That is what I got out of this.
I wonder what went on during that 90 min meeting behind closed doors that the Republicans had to debate this, and then why it had to come down to a voice vote and not a written one. Did they not want a record of those who want more earmarks?
Also, did not realize this: "House Republicans, on their own, accounted for more than 1,200 of the earmarks, worth $1 billion that were included in the funding bills for fiscal year 2010", can I get the amount of earmarks and cost for the Democrats too?
I also really wonder if they can keep this promise, or even do what McCain has suggested and not include earmarks until the deficit has been eliminated?

Posted by: ai3di | March 11, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Denouncing ALL earmarks and enacting legislation prohibiting them going forward are two completely different things.

Only the few Americans living in caves, accept a politician on his/her word, especially in an election year.

If you’re serious, put it writing, put it to a vote, pass it, and sign it into law -- then we’ll believe you.

178 GOP House members say they are committed. It shouldn’t be that hard to pull in more than enough votes from the other side of the aisle to make it happen....

That is if they REALLY want it to happen and aren't just blowing smoke AGAIN.

Posted by: asmith1 | March 11, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Republicans: “denouncing expenditures as wasteful and corrupting”?

Give us our monies back and prepare to do time.

Posted by: Shanan1 | March 11, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Where was this dedication to fiscal restraint when the Republicans held the high ground?? Democrat or Republican, different pile, but same stink!

Posted by: gunnysgt77 | March 11, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

This is nothing but a symbolic measure to outdo the Dems. It's unlikely to have any real effect on federal expenditures.
It just means the money will go somewhere else, or loopholes will be used to circumvent any real attempt at stopping the hogs from feeding at the federal trough.
The Republicans had 5 years to do this, 2001-2006, and instead handed no-bid contracts to their friends for dubious services, some of which were never even received.
What hypocrites!

Crap is crap, I don't care how you package it.

Posted by: meand2 | March 11, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

These lamebrains of the well to do need to...... The Post wouldn't print that, would you?

Posted by: psst_limbaugh_keep-ranting_satan | March 11, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Republicans are so fiscally conservative and responsible when they are in the minority. Too bad they drove the country into a near depression when they were in the majority.

Posted by: hacksaw | March 11, 2010 3:13 PM

Amen, brother!

Posted by: bs2004 | March 11, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse


Hello Dims,

Reconciliation is out the window just like I said would happen ON THESE FORUMS, happened: The Senate Parliamentarian threw out reconciliation as an option for Obamacare.

From Roll Call, and I quote:

Ruling Kills an Option for Moving Health Bill
March 11, 2010, 02:30pm
By David M. Drucker
Roll Call Staff

The Senate Parliamentarian has ruled that President Barack Obama must sign Congress’ original health care reform bill before the Senate can act on a companion reconciliation package, senior GOP sources said Thursday.

The Senate Parliamentarian’s Office was responding to questions posed by the Republican leadership. The answers were provided verbally, sources said.

House Democratic leaders have been searching for a way to ensure that any move they make to approve the Senate-passed $871 billion health care reform bill is followed by Senate action on a reconciliation package of adjustments to the original bill. One idea is to have the House and Senate act on reconciliation prior to House action on the Senate’s original health care bill.

Information Republicans say they have received from the Senate Parliamentarian’s Office eliminates that option. House Democratic leaders last week began looking at crafting a legislative rule that would allow the House to approve the Senate health care bill, but not forward it to Obama for his signature until the Senate clears the reconciliation package.

Posted by: screwjob11 | March 11, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Republicans are so fiscally conservative and responsible when they are in the minority. Too bad they drove the country into a near depression when they were in the majority.

Posted by: hacksaw | March 11, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Republican very disappointed in congressional Republican hypocrisy (eg, voting down the deficit panel). This is the first good news I have heard in a long time. I take it at face value as a great step forward.

Posted by: richardshaker | March 11, 2010 3:05 PM
___________________________________________
As a Democrat, I wholeheartedly agree with your entire post. And if the Republicans want the credit, I'll give it to them. Just get that hack Boehner to shut up.

Posted by: Lefty_ | March 11, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

The blurb on the front page of the Washington Post right now might as well have been written by House GOP press offices.

"Republicans take key step in demonstrating fiscal restraint."

Try harder Post! Earmarks are a tiny tiny fraction of the federal budget.

Republicans CREATED the fiscal mess entirely, by slashing taxes on the super-rich, starting a war for no reason without paying for it, and sinking the economy. Grandstanding on earmarks will do NOTHING to reduce the deficit.

Shame on you for passing along such obvious spin.

Posted by: DavidDuck1 | March 11, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Why not do away with earmarks. The Republicans have already robbed the country. There is nothing left. The big whigs have it all. Now they can be so smug in knowing that they are against earmarks. Big deal.

This is like "I was for tax cuts before I was against them." and on and on and on.

Posted by: EarlC | March 11, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Republican very disappointed in congressional Republican hypocrisy (eg, voting down the deficit panel). This is the first good news I have heard in a long time. I take it at face value as a great step forward.

Posted by: richardshaker | March 11, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

This gives Nancy another thing to worry about now, outside of trying to cover up her Massa and the growing list of democrat scandals.

Lee Wifflestin

Posted by: leewifflestin | March 11, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Hypocrites one and all. They don't give a damn about spending if its going in their pockets. For evidence of that see years 2000-2008. It's spending to help the poor and the needy that they don't like. Liars and hypocrites. They make me sick.

Posted by: October10S | March 11, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

While I certainly applaud this, I'm skeptical. I have no doubt they'll be able to hold the line this year, but what about next year and the year after that? And if Republicans do capture the majority this November, what will they do then? And, what have they defined as an earmark? Are we going to see some legislators wrangling over definitions?

Still though, this is heartening to see. While earmarks don't make up a major portion of the budget, they make up a large enough portion that eliminating them as a budget-saver shouldn't be dismissed out of hand.

SyndeyP: While I agree with your cynicism, I think you're being cynical in the wrong area. There may only be 5 months left in the legislative calendar, but I believe that'll cover all the appropriations bills passed this year. More interesting will be to see if this continues next year.

Posted by: nlcaldwell | March 11, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

The actual pathetic losers are the citizens/voters/taxpayers. If you believe anything that comes out of Washington, you are an ignorant pathetic loser. If this is actually done, it cannot but help cut spending; so there is a "but" there somewhere. Not only that, but they will just change the name, and the citizens/voters/tazxpayer will give a round of aplause.

Posted by: linda_521 | March 11, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

This is great if they're honest about it and actually do it.

I'm not going to hold my breath.

Posted by: andrew23boyle | March 11, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Too bad they didn't do this during the entire Bush (W) administration when our country went from a budget surplus to what was the largest deficit in history. Somehow ear-marks and unfettered spending was fine during a Republican administration but now it's sancrosanct.

This is nothing more than another hardball move in partisan politics.

Posted by: fishhawk7 | March 11, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

This is a victory for McCain's silly campaign. He made two ridiculous assumptions with his War on Earmarks:

1) That all earmarks are wasteful. Many of them support very worth projects in community building, local infrastructure, and funding scientific research.

One study he mocked investigated honey bees. Well, the results showed that honey bees are going extinct, and that could be cataclysmic for our agriculture as they provide free pollination for many crops.

Cut out the earmarks and we could lose many valuable projects.

2) Earmarks are a tiny piece of the budget. Shut them down and you've really done nothing to reduce the deficit, except shout about it a lot.

I hate to see silliness win, but in the modern USA, it's how loud you are that count, not how rational.

Posted by: AxelDC | March 11, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Where was Boehner's concern for fiscal restraint and not saddling future generations with massive debt the 8 years Bush was president? Has he answered that question yet? Or has he "seen the light" all of a sudden?

Posted by: woebegoner | March 11, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

HELP FROM GEORGIA!!! PLEASE, HELP!!! THE 'LEADERSHIP' HAS APPROVED A 7%TAX TO BUILD A NEW STADIUM FOR THE FALCONS WHILE THEY CONTINUE TO SLASH EDUCATIONAL SPENDING! THE GOP IS KEEPING OUR CHILDREN IGNORANT IN HOPES OF SECURING THEIR FUTURE VOTES!

HELP!

Posted by: mmax | March 11, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Grandstanding as usual

Posted by: twpw | March 11, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I wonder why they never did this through 2000 thru 2006 or through 2008 for that matter.

The GOP in congress are the most pathetic bunch of losers I've ever seen.

Posted by: kurthunt | March 11, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

I'll believe it when it actually happens. While they are at it, they should have pushed for mandatory term limits for ALL members of Congress.

Posted by: woebegoner | March 11, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

For the five months left in an election year? Woo-hoo! That's not cynical.

Posted by: SydneyP | March 11, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Good move. Too bad they didn't do this in 2000.

Of course, in 2000, they didn't feel threatened.

Posted by: VirginiaConservative | March 11, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

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