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Earmarks Lose Their Luster as More Members Take Pass on Pork

Posted By Rob Bluey On March 18, 2008 @ 7:46 pm In Ongoing Priorities,Scribe | Comments Disabled

The list of members of Congress who have given up earmarks seems to grow by the day. According to the Club for Growth’s tally [1], it now totals 33 House members and seven senators. And despite the setback last week in the Senate, that hasn’t dissuaded members from coming out for a voluntary one-year moratorium.

Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Wash.) announced last Friday in a YouTube video [2] that he would voluntarily swear off earmarks [3] this year. Reichert said he was proud to support the GOP’s call for a moratorium in January. But with Democrats dawdling and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) blocking action, Reichert decided to take matters into his own hands.


Reichert was joined last week by former Republican Study Committee Chairman Mike Pence (R-Ind.), who said it was time to end the practice of earmarking [4] as it currently exists. “After years of attempting to reform the earmarking system from within,” Pence said, “I have decided that I can no longer be a party to a deeply flawed system, and therefore, I will not be making any appropriation requests for fiscal year 2009.”

What’s striking about both Reichert and Pence is that both have had a penchant for pork in previous years. Their willingness to suddenly give it up in the name of reform is a positive development that other lawmakers should follow. They are leading by example, showing their constituents that there’s more to being a congressman than bringing home the bacon.

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URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2008/03/18/earmarks-lose-their-luster-as-more-members-take-pass-on-pork/

URLs in this post:

[1] Club for Growth’s tally: http://clubforgrowth.com/2008/01/house_members_who_have_sworn_o.php

[2] YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndtAXi5su-E

[3] voluntarily swear off earmarks: http://www.house.gov/apps/list/press/wa08_reichert/pr_031408_earmark_moratorium.shtml

[4] time to end the practice of earmarking: http://mikepence.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=86014

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