Earmarks: Time to Stop the Congressional Pork Games

Posted by courage On November - 15 - 2010

As early as tomorrow (11-16-2010) the Senate may take up pork barrel spending otherwise known as earmarks.  You know those pet project add-ons which Congress critters slip in to legislation to show the folks back home they are doing something for their constituents.

Often these add-ons are totally unrelated to the legislation which they are attached to.  They are not reviewed by committee and are “favors” to the Congress critters whose states/districts they will eventually land in.  You’ve seen them reported, things like studying the impact of cow flatulence on the environment, the effects of alcohol on prostitutes in Taiwan, the mating habits of mice or installing new windows in a visitors center which has long ago been closed; none of these “projects” would stand peer review for their inherent worth.  In fact I would suggest that none of them would pass unless attached to some other “vital legislation.”

It is time that Congress starts being honest with Americans and shuffling earmarks in to legislation is a violation of the trust we given elected officials.

Email from Tea Party Patriots:

EARMARK BAN VOTE TUESDAY: MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!

By DICK MORRIS & EILEEN MCGANN

Published on DickMorris.com on November 15, 2010

Tuesday is the first day of the rest of our lives because on that day we will see if the Republican Party is serious about reform or just mouths the words to get back power.

The Senate Republican caucus is set to vote on a ban on earmarks.  Eighteen Senators have committed to support the proposal.  Twenty Senators have committed to back the ban and seven are opposed.  But nineteen are still undecided.  We need twenty-four to pass the proposal.

Please call your Senator to weigh in!  Earmarking is one of the key causes of the massive federal deficit.  It promotes projects that are usually wastes of time and money.  It is a disgrace that the Republicans did not end this obnoxious practice when they held power in the Senate before the 2006 election.  They must commit to ending it now.

Yes votes already in hand are: Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky) (Congratulations Mitch for seeing the light!), Kelly Ayotte (NH), John Barrasso (WY), John Boozeman (Ark), Richard Burr (NC), Dan Coats (Ind), Tom Coburn (Okla), Bob Corker (Tenn), John Cornyn (TX), Jim DeMint (SC), John Ensign (Nev), Mike Enzi (WY), Orin Hatch (Utah), Mike Johanns (Neb), Ron Johnson (Wisc), Mark Kirk (Ill), Mike Lee (Utah), Rand Paul (KY), Marco Rubio (Fla), Jeff Sessions (Ala), and Pat Toomey (PA).

The no votes — the enemies of reform — are Lamar Alexander (Tenn), Thad Cochran (Miss) — the granddaddy of earmarks, newly elected Senator John Hoeven (ND), James Inhofe (Okla), Richard Shelby (Ala), and Roger Wicker (Miss).

And here are the twenty we have to work on!

* Roy Blunt (Missouri) = 202-225-6536

Newly elected, Roy was part of the House establishment but had pledged to be a reformer in the Senate.  Let’s see.

* Scott Brown (Massachusetts) = 202-224-4543

We all hailed his election.  Now lets see if he really is a reformer.

* Saxby Chambliss (Georgia) = 202-224-3521

A southern conservative, let’s see if he really will hold the line on spending!

* Susan Collins (Maine) = 202-224-2523

Perennially undecided.  Lets she how she goes.

* Mike Crapo (Idaho) = 202-224-6142

Normally a dependable conservative, this should be an easy vote for him.

* Lindsay Graham (South Carolina) = 202-224-5972

He campaigned for John McCain and praised him for his opposition to earmarks.  Now its time for him to vote!

* Chuck Grassley (Iowa) = 202-224-3744

We all cheered his opposition to Obamacare.  We hope he does the right thing on earmarks.  Chuck was embarrassed when he tried to get an earmark for an indoor rain forest in Iowa — there was one nearby in Omaha.  He got it passed but couldn’t generate enough local support for matching funds.  No more indoor rain forests, please. Not on our dime!

* Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas) = 202-224-5922

Running in the Texas Governors’ Primary, Kay Bailey assured us she was a conservative.  Now let’s see if she meant it!

* James Inhofe (Oklahoma) = 202-224-4721

A conservative leader from a conservative state, he should be with us on this one.

* Johnny Isakson (Georgia) = 202-224-3643

For a southern conservative like Isakson, this should be a no-brainer.

* John Kyl (Arizona) = 202-224-4521

Kyl has always been a staunch conservative.  What’s to think about?

* Richard Lugar (Indiana) = 202-224-4814

Does this member of the GOP old guard need replacing? Lets see how he votes on this one!

* John McCain (Arizona) = 202-224-2235

Just returning from a foreign trip.  We assume he’ll vote right.  Its always been his issue.

* Jerry Moran (Kansas) = 913-945-2413

He won the Kansas Senate primary by saying he was a solid conservative.  Now he has to prove it!

* Rob Portman (Ohio) = 614-824-5513

As former head of the Office of Management and Budget, Portman, of all people, should appreciate what a disaster earmarks are.  Is he going to be a true conservative or a Washington sellout?  This vote will tell.

* James Risch (Idaho) = 202-224-2752

For a western conservative, this is a no-brainer.

* Pat Roberts (Kansas) = 202-224-4774

A conservative, he should be with us.

* Olympia Snowe (Maine) = 202-224-5344

Why do all votes boil down to Olympia?

* John Thune (South Dakota) = 202-224-2321

If he wants to run for president, this vote is make or break.

* David Vitter (Louisiana) = 202-224-4623

We trusted him and re-elected him.  Now we’ll see if he deserved it.

PLEASE CALL YOUR SENATOR RIGHT NOW.  THE VOTE IS TUESDAY!

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Let Your Voice Be Heard !

Phone your Senator and let them know you are tired of the game they are playing with our money.  Email their office and urge them to vote for legislation which will ban earmarks.

Sample email here.


(BTW: I’m Back)

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