November 8, Washington, D.C. – The non-partisan “Taxpayers Against Earmarks”today called on leadership in the House and Senate to appoint only members to the Appropriations Committees who have sworn to ban earmarks.
“The American people are fed up with the massive federal debt, out-of-control spending and the broken budgeting process in Washington,” said Brian Baker, president of Taxpayers Against Earmarks.
“While Reps. Boehner and Cantor have heard the voters say they want a change in the way Washington spends their money and have agreed to extend the earmark moratorium for the next two years, the first test of their leadership will be who is appointed to lead the House Appropriations Committee,” Baker said. “The appointment of a reform-minded chair, along with members like Rep. Jeff Flake, will demonstrate to the American people that the new House leaders are serious about reform.”
“We also implore Senators McConnell and Reid to follow the lead of their colleagues and pass an earmark ban in the Senate.
“But we aren’t waiting for the new Congress to demand change, as we will immediately hold Members’ feet to the fire on earmarks as the lame duck session of Congress begins,” Baker said. “There will be zero tolerance for any earmarks that pass during the upcoming lame duck session.
“This election was based in large part on the American peoples’ frustration with the big-spending ways of Washington and the corrupt practice of earmarking. We want to make sure that Congress doesn’t act like a drunk headed to rehab when it comes to earmarks during the lame duck, and take their last big drink before the ‘earmark favor factory’ closes for good.”
Last Tuesday, over 50 politicians who were on the Taxpayers Against Earmarks “Hooligans” list were defeated. The website www.endingspending.com lists each Member as a “Hero” or “Hooligan,” based on whether that Member has requested earmarks this year, and contains an action center connecting taxpayers with their elected officials.
Earmarks are provisions inserted into federal spending bills allocating taxpayer money for a specific project, program, or organization, circumventing a merit-based or competitive allocation process. Earmarks provide federal funding for projects benefiting only a state or local interest, or a private company, university or non-profit.