Report: House GOP Discusses Return to Earmarking

A jarring report from Reuters this afternoon:

The huge federal transportation bill was in tatters in early March when U.S. Representative Mike Rogers posed a heretical idea for breaking through gridlock in the House. 

In a closed-door meeting with fellow Republicans, Rogers recommended reviving a proven legislative sweetener that became politically toxic a year ago. 

Bring back earmarks, Rogers told his colleagues. 

Few members of Congress have been bold enough to use the “e” word since both the House and Senate temporarily banned the practice last year after public outcries about Alaska’s “Bridge to Nowhere” and other pork barrel projects. 

But as lawmakers wrestle with legislative paralysis, there are signs that earmarks – special interest projects that used to be tacked onto major bills – could make a comeback.

Congressman Rogers said his comments were met with “a lot of applause” and were “very well embraced.”  Reuters continued: 

Republican Representative Steven LaTourette, an 18-year House veteran, said the earmark ban “has affected discipline” within the party. “You can’t get 218 votes (out of 242 Republican House members) and part of that has to be if you can’t give people anything (earmarks), you can’t take anything away from them.”

Obviously there are no permanent victories in Washington…

Related Links:
Heritage Action Supports Earmark Moratorium
GOP Senators Rule Out Earmarks for 112th Congress
Earmarxists Make Best Case Against Earmarks

Please Share Your Thoughts

27 thoughts on “Report: House GOP Discusses Return to Earmarking

  1. The punishment for earmarks should be summary execution of the offending politician who attempts to introduce one.

  2. My congressman, Erik Paulsen from Minnesota, better not be for it. I am tracking his every vote and there are already some that I will come to haunt him in Novenber. Watch your step, Erik.

  3. Political panderin has been the way Wahington has done business for years and the
    results has put us financially where we are today. If a deal cannot stand on its own
    merits then it must be bad for everyone. You cannot promise someone something that
    is not yours to give. That leads to corruption of the entire purpose of sending representative
    to represent us in Washington D.C. We have had to many scandals over the years that
    the public found out about much later after some cretin has stolen the money and left
    the Tax Payers saddled with massive debt and nothing in return. It has led to shoddy
    construction projects with “special” sweetheart promises for their friends which again
    left the public at risk when the project fails or someone is killed because of poor
    construction oversight. We cannot and must not tollerate any elected officials to ever
    put us in that poisiton again.

  4. Just when our House representatives are looking for our donations and ultimate votes, they think it’s a great idea to spend MORE of our money–a little here, a little there–what can it matter—what will it hurt–it’s only a couple of million. Right! Like these bozos are going to save our nation! Anyone with a lick of sense knows the U.S. is going down for the count if we don’t get this spending in line.

    We obviously cannot appeal to Congressional morality, for it is non-existent. Writing a terse note to your representative letting him know he’s not getting a dime from you unless he signs a pledge to cut spending and especially refuses to reinstate earmarks, is our only earthly recourse.

    Frankly this sounds like a leftist ploy to get Republicans onboard an unpopular notion so they will lose favor with their constituents and thus lose their elections.

    We must defeat the big spenders. We must save our nation. AND we must defeat Obama in 2012.

  5. Just what is an “Ear Mark”? I’m not sure we all know.
    I was surprised to learn during one of the debates that
    it is an insert into the body of the law to direct the
    executive (President) to spend at least this amount
    of the appropriation in a certain way rather than giving
    him cart blanch to spend it all any way he wants.
    If that is accurate, then it does not in and of itself
    increase spending. Now if we have a problem with
    how the money is spent, then reduce size of the bill
    and ear mark what the executive should be spending
    the rest of the money on. This could be very useful
    when we have a president like Obama and you don’t
    trust his philosophy and/or his judgement

    • It would appear to me if earmarks don’t cost anything extra when attached to a bill, as mentioned by cfcshine, then the bill to which it is attached must have had too much in it to start with.

      Don’t try to play the game. Be transparent in everything and cut out the waste.

      • You are probably right about the spending, after all it’s a sending problem we have not a revenue
        problem that is driving the country bankrupt. However, in it’s basic elemental use, an earmark,
        is to designate what should be done with a certain part of the appropriated funds rather than leaving
        it up to the President who might have political buddies to pay off ala Solyndra. It’s not this hand tieing
        of the executive that is inflating the bill’s cost but, as you say, the $’s appropriated by the actual legislation.

        It would appear to me if earmarks don’t cost anything extra when attached to a bill, as mentioned by cfcshine, then the bill to which it is attached must have had too much in it to start with.

        Don’t try to play the game. Be transparent in everything and cut out the waste.

  6. I have totally changed my opinion regarding earmarks after reading Senator Jim Inhofe’s book the Greatest Hoax dealing with global warming. In the book he spends several pages explaining, defining and describing how the earmark process works. As he explains it, Congressional earmarks do not add a penny to a bill. It simply allows individual Congressmen and women to “earmark” a portion of those funds for particular uses.
    This is important for several reasons. One banning earmarks will not reduce spending at all, it will not save a single dime. The whatever amount of money is being appropriated remains the same with or without congressional earmarks. The only difference is who gets to decide how the money is spent. With no congressional earmarks the entire amount of appropriated funds gets goes to the Executive branch that then divides it up among the various areas and then the unelected bureaucrats get to decide how to spend all the money.
    For example say a bill call for a total appropriation of $1 billion dollars that will be divided evenly between the EPA and USDA. If Congressional earmarks are allow a Congressman or woman could earmark say $1 million of the EPA funds for an EPA related project in their state and say a $1 million to help cattle ranchers in his state. Now say after all earmarks are added to the bill the total appropriation is still $1 billion dollars. But say that all the earmarks marks total say $200 million evenly divided between the EPA and USDA funds. The end result is that the President will only have $800 million to divide between the EPA and USDA. Under a ban on earmarks the President gets the full $1 billion.
    Of course Obama supports ending earmarks which is the first clue that should make anyone become suspicious. If Obama supports it there must be something in it for him.

  7. Shame on you Mike Rogers ! You make me ashamed to be a Republican ! Earmarks are clearly paths to dishonesty, greed and wastefulness (which our government has an abundance of already)..If this thing does raise its ugly head again I and a multitude of others will become fulltime workers to see that it does not materialize and that those who supported it will be looking for jobs outside of govt. Confess, repent and turn around.!.

  8. I run a small business; one of our “golden rules” is that every deal must stand on its own merits. If the bills proposed are so wonderful, why must the proposer sweeten the deal with emarks? This school-yard buddy-system horseplay need stop.

  9. Congressmen use earmarks to bring money to their particular state. Without earmarks, the government buys from China instead and supports the communist buyout of our country. Without earmarks, we financially support the human rights abuses inherent in communist China.

    • I don’t understand how this relates to earmarks. As far as I’ve seen over the last few decades we have increased our dependence on China’s productivity and sent trillions of dollars their way through purchasing almost everything from them. This all happened with the earmarks in place.

      • Your post is confusing. I believe you just answered your own question.
        Earmarks are at the end of a bill and usually have nothing to do with it. It is just a way to sneak another bill through.

    • I beg to differ, earmarks are a political deal makers. In other words they are legal
      theft of government funds to pay a political debts through awarding contracts to
      companies for their donations. I say theft because congressmen do not have to
      present any justification or details as to how it will be spent.

      Examine your states bugdet, pay special attention to federal funding.
      Some where you will find the phrase ” and for other perposes” in relation to
      the bill authorizing those funds.

  10. All spending bills originate in the House of Representatives and all taxes are voted into law by Congress. This means Bill Clinton did not balance the budget, the Republicans did. Earmarks are used by Senators to bypass the process put in place by our founders!

    • You are so right. Dick Morris finally got Clinton to listen to him and he started to turn some of the legislation around to undo the mess Clinton had made. We would have been in an awful mess if it had not been for Morris.

  11. Earmarks need to stop. They are a form of buying votes when someone would not normally vote becuae of the negaitive effects of a bill. Here’s an example, the government has a bill that would be $180 billion but they know they can’t pass it without buying 10 votes. That is when they boost it to $200 billion and get the other votes by telling the 10 congressmen they can have an earmark of 1% each. That adds up to 10% or $20 billion. They know from the start that they only need a certain dollar amount and the extra added onto the bill is just for those earmarks. At that point they are not adding a penny ot the bill, but if that $20 wasn’t needed to begin with, then it shouldn’t have been added in the first place just to buy votes.

  12. We are bombarded with requests to send money and support for laws that we believe in only to find out later that it is business as usual. Here today and gone tomorrow. Do the people really have any voice in their government? Politicians are indeed most fickle and the people most frustrated.

  13. NO to the CONGRESS who are thing about starting the earmarks back up again. The American people say absolutely and we mean NO and that is what we mean. Never again will we put up with all this crap that these evil people are placing on us. NO more will we take.

  14. Give us a list of every Congress person who is supporting this Earmark return and be sure to do it before election day. Every citizen of every state that has a supporter running for re-election should be told before the elections.

  15. Talk about term limits and see how far you get with some one from congess thay will run the other way. I hope you can keep out the earmarks and the waste it is. [ GOD BLESS THIS COUNTRY] WE NEED ALL THE HELP WE CAN GET

  16. Why do politicians think they have to constantly give us something? We are not spoiled children. Mature adults can be happy with what they have (when it’s not polluted with reckless liberalism). They need to stop feeling like they have to pacify everyone to be more popular…even if it means doing something wasteful/dumb. Why don’t politicians have a spine?

  17. Our Federal Gov’t has no idea what it is like in real life. They live in a different world. But they think they know what is best for us. Ha Ha. What we get out of them is more Tax and more regulations. Our Federal Gov’t is out of control and must be controled by the people of America. Think before you vote. Are we better off now than the last election? I doubt it.

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