My Christmas List for President Obama Just Started a Week Early … Wish #1 that our President Joins Senate Republican Leader McConnell, McCain and DeMint to Ban Earmark Spending From the Oval Office Too …
“As the leader of my party in the Senate, I have to lead first by example,” McConnell, R-Ky., said from the floor of the Senate on the first day of its lame-duck session.”
In breakout sessions organized by Tea Party favorites Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., Reps. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., and Mike Pence, R-Ind., new congressmen-elect joined with Tea Party-backed Americans for Prosperity in calling for a two-year moratorium on earmarks.
Spending our hard earned money to buy votes has just become a little harder. For the Tea Party this is a huge moral victory, as it restores the system “So my early Christmas Wish is to ask President Obama to do the same and have well intentioned Agency Head who understand true need on state and local levels take politics out of needed fixes, not adding it to Obama’s war chest.
Tomorrow on the floor of the Senate the GOP will consider an amendment to their conference rules that will ban earmarks from being requested by any Senate Republican. This proposal is being offered by Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Senator John McCain (R-AZ). As part of history earmarks have been around since the beginning of the appropriations process which began in 1866. However, back in the day, agency professionals typically decided whether or not a particular town needed a new bridge, courthouse or water project. If the agency determined such, the representative from the district and the two U.S. Senators were notified that the project had received agency approval and funding. The fact that career non-partisan professionals, with industry know-how, actually worked well for many, many years, until…politics invaded this process. By the end of the Johnson Administration, the earmark scenario began to change. The Congressional representatives from the President’s party were the first to be notified about the awarding of the home-town earmark, and the ticker tape parades would begin …
As politics became more polarizing, so did the earmark process. Members of Congress began to muscle the agency heads into make decisions not necessarily based on merit or need. Also, at times, the threat of agency funding withdrawal by a member of Congress entered this dialogue.
Earmarks have exploded over the past ten years, tripling in total from about 6000 to 17,500 according to a report by Wendy Ginsburg for Midwest Political Science Association. Senator Inhofe (R-OK) has said he will unveil a compromise solution to the earmark controversy on Monday on the Senate floor.
So Mr. President … can you make my Christmas Wish a reality … have our agency professionals decide whether or not a particular town needed a new bridge, courthouse or water project. Please!
support copy by Elizabeth Letchworth