UPDATE: Is the Earmark Ban in Jeopardy?
Update (Nov. 15 @ 3:33pm): Rep. Young has withdrawn his amendment.
Roll Call reports that House Republicans will consider an amendment to the conference rules that would bring back earmarks. Rep. Don Young (R-AK) will offer the amendment later today that would allow House members to return to the practice of earmarking, albeit with some conditions. Earmarks would be allowed “if the recipient of the earmark is the Federal Government, a State, or a unit of local government, the Member sponsoring such earmark is identified, the earmark is initiated in committee, and the earmark falls within the applicable section 302(a) allocation).”
We’ll cut right to the chase. This is not a good idea.
Lawmakers who want to reinstate earmarks cite the “communities’ needs” as a legitimate cause for reinstating earmarks. This kind of rhetoric might pluck at your heartstrings, but it’s not a sufficient defense of process that gives lawmakers another excuse to waste our taxpayer dollars just because it’s politically expedient for them. As Heritage has explained, the bottom line is that “earmarks corrupt even the most principled politicians.”
Not only do earmarks open the door for cronyism and corruption, but they grease the skids for wasteful trillion-dollar legislation that would otherwise fail.
The point of the earmark moratorium is to encourage fiscal responsibility by cutting back on Washington’s irresponsible spending. A complete moratorium on earmarks helps to ensure that, at the very least, excessive Washington spending will be reined in. Rest assured, passing this amendment is not only ill advised, but it will also lead to a rebirth of reckless legislating.