• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Republican Earmarkers Already Enabling Higher Government Spending

    After yesterday’s Senate vote against an earmark ban, we again made the case that the damage earmarks do to our nation’s deficits go far beyond the nominal amounts spent on the earmarks themselves. The problem is that the votes earmarks secure from the sponsoring legislators then allow for ever higher levels of spending on other federal programs. Now, just one day after eight Republican Senators voted to protect earmark spending, CQ confirms our fears:

    New Hope for a Spending Package. The 15-day stopgap bill, or CR, buys Democrats the maximum time they can take to decide how to wrap up the appropriations process before they lose unfettered control. And yesterday’s Senate test vote on earmarks suggests the party still has some hope of teaming up with enough Republicans to enact a comprehensive bill — and not just a simple CR through next September. That’s what the GOP leadership wants, because that would put them in an easier position to roll back discretionary domestic spending totals, maybe even to 2008 levels, after they take over the House and gain strength in the Senate next year.

    The hope for an omnibus spending package surged when only 39 senators backed a three-year prohibition against pet projects while a solid 56 voted against the idea, signaling they would be the senators most eager to see their earmarks survive this fall. And eight of them were Republicans: Jim Inhofe and Dick Lugar along with appropriators Bob Bennett, Thad Cochran, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Dick Shelby and George Voinovich. (And another pair of venerable earmarking appropriators, Democrat Barbara Mikulski and Republican Kit Bond, were among those missing.)

    In other words, before yesterday’s vote in favor of earmarks conservatives had a good chance of passing a continuing resolution that would have frozen spending through next September at 2010 levels. And then the next Congress would have had a real opportunity to roll back all spending to 2008 levels next year. But now, thanks to those earmarking appropriators, liberals in Congress now have a better chance at passing an Omnibus spending bill in this lame duck that will  increase spending this year and next.

    Funding the federal government at 2008 discretionary spending levels instead of 2010 spending levels would save $100 billion in one year. So that is $100 billion in new debt those eight earmarking Republicans just gave to your children. Merry Christmas.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    29 Responses to Republican Earmarkers Already Enabling Higher Government Spending

    1. Redfray, Elkins Arka says:

      You got it wrong Mr. Conn, those 8 republicans are democratic spies. I hope the republican voters of there states will see there real corlors and boot them out next election?

    2. Linzy Scott Jr. says:

      Is there no end to hypocrasy? Is there no shame?

      Now passing spending increases after persecuting a 80 year old man over rent and trying to provide an education for disadvantage youths on a retroactive obsecure regulation?

      Worst still trying to put that man in the same bag as pedifiles and adultarist by censership just to gain a commitee chairmanship?

      Is there no Republicain honor?

    3. Bobbie says:

      Outrageous! These republicans are easily influenced and unworthy of their positions! They've given up their own dignity and morals for the indecency of this government administration which shows no concern or acceptance to the principles, values and liberties of the American people.

    4. Omni Bus says:

      Woohoo!! Go omnibus. I've been praying for an omnibus since September. If an omnibus passes at the $1.106 trillion level, as anticipated, a wide variety of very worthwhile programs will finally be able to get moving again. Not to mention all the contracts with private companies that will finally be set in motion. I'm keeping my fingers crossed . . . .

    5. Gordon, Minnesota says:

      And do remember that there is no FY2010 budget; the Democrat House leadership deliberately chose not to fulfill this most important duty.

      So, do all the continuing resolutions get rolled up and included in the eventual FY2010 budget numbers? If so, the Democrats (as well as the Quisling branch of the Republican party) are handing a steaming pile to the incoming Republican House.

      Were I cynical (or betting) man, I'd say this is a deliberate strategy to blame Tea Party congressmen for the eventual huge FY2010 deficit and to smear them as fiscal hypocrites going into Election 2012.

      Further evidence for that view is that the Democrat talking points now accuse the Republicans of working to undermine the economy leading up to 2012. Silly leftists always telegraph their moves by accusing the opposition of doing what they themselves are actually doing.

    6. Tot says:

      Read here why Republicans will NOT shrink government spending.

      They just have no capacity to do so on a sustainable basis.

    7. Pingback: Instapundit » Blog Archive » PRO-PORK FALLOUT: Republican Earmarkers Already Enabling Higher Government Spending….

    8. egoist says:

      The pragmatists prevail. I just don't see how this mess is fixed at the political level; the problem is so culturally embedded. We've become fat and weak, and appoint proxies to keep shoveling it into the trough – they comply. Everybody's happy, until they're all starving to death in the streets, heating themselves with bundles of burning fiat.

    9. George Colgrove, VA says:

      Gordon, Minnesota – Nice observation – we need to keep this on top of the minds of the campaigners. The GOP is notorious for not defending itself.

      As for the Earmarkers – all we need to do is keep a list. That's all. Then in 2012. those who are up for reelection – we get them out. I'm not sure what the total budget is, but the DoD Budget at $660B for 2010 represented 23% of the total budget. This would make the total budget at roughly $2.8 trillion for 2010. In 2010, we went further into debt by $1.3 trillion. What this means is that roughly 50% of the budget came from nothing. To get to a balanced budget we need a 50% cut across the board! We cannot afford these earmarks any more than we can afford the exhorbanate federal payroll. These things may represent small item unto themselves, but all together we can get some serious cuts – cuts we desperately need!

    10. Tom Georgia says:

      Perhaps the time has come for Congress, all members, both Houses, to take a short field together over to Arlington and begin the process of deciding on the most appropriate burial site for Uncle Sam. The old dude is in a heap of trouble.

      The only bipartisan trait that is visible in the Washington, DC of today is a bipartisan case of terminal stupidity.

      The United States Federal Government is in the process of self-destructing. What then? Do the governments of the fifty states of the real United States of America have the gumption and courage that will be needed to pick up the pieces and then use The Constitution as a verbal blueprint to put Humptey Dumptey together again? Certainly not all fifty. We will be lucky if the governments of even half of the states would be willing to step up and take on the tasks that they must be willing to carry forth if the best nation that has ever existed is to be kept from joining history's scrap heap of failed nations.

      Most of our state governments have made themselves into little more than suck-ups to an inept, incompetent federal government.

    11. Dougla A Giese , Osa says:

      The fact that these eight congressmen voted for earmarks signifies that they are

      just as out of touch with the American people's wishes as Obama. Hopefully

      their peers will constantly remind them why they are in the Senate!

    12. Ace Sez says:

      The RINOs are a deliberate stab in the back to their constituencies !!

      Lord help us–willl there be any of the Constitutionsl Gov't left by 2012 ?

    13. George Colgrove, VA says:

      For fiscal year 2010

      Total receipts: Estimated receipts: $2.381 trillion

      Spending:

      Mandatory spending: $2.184 trillion

      Discretionary spending: $1.368 trillion

      Total spending: $3.552 trillion

      Estimated 2010 Deficit: $1.171 trillion

      Overspending = 33%

      People's Mandate on the federal government for 2011:

      1. Need to cut = 33% across the board (AtB) to stop going deeper into debt.

      2. Need to cut more to pay off the debt (5% AtB to start)

      3. Need to cut more to lower taxes to spark growth (5% AtB to start)

      For 2011, we need to cut 43% AtB – period. Otherwise, we are supporting our impending doom.

    14. TURTLE, TUCSON AZ. says:

      You want a balanced budget ? Only way to do that is to go back to CONSTITUTIONAL spending only which also means no more intitlement programs one of which i live on today !

      As long as people continue to vote these same people back into office year after year, century after century this will never happen ! OUR founding fathers had it right but has no been changed depending on who ever is in office to their liking

    15. ANN HOME says:

      I FEEL AT THIS TIME WE NEED TO START KEEPING TRACK OF WHAT EVERY REPUBLICAN DOES AND VOTE HIM OUT OF OFFICE THE NEXT TIME AROUND.

      THIS IS JUST SO STUPID THAT THEY DO THIS IN OUR TIMES WHEN PEOPLE ARE GOING WITH OUT AND LOSING THERE HOMES AND THE LIST GOES ON.

    16. Pingback: Morning Bell: Libertad! | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

    17. Pingback: Daily Pundit » The List of Porky Pigs

    18. Rob, FL says:

      If you want to have any credibility at all when you write comments, you have to spell- and grammar-check your work. The comments with the least spelling and grammatical errors unquestionably have the most credibility. Illiterate comments give the impression that the writer is uneducated and incompetent. Nobody said life is fair.

    19. Richard Rogers, Fors says:

      Kit Bond is retiring so why does he duck this vote? Is it because he may be looking for a job as a lobbyist in the future? Even Claire McCaskill (D-MO) bent to the will of MO voters & voted to end earmarks. If she continues to vote with Republicans, she might even save her job next time around.

    20. Barb Ramirez, Vermil says:

      Senator Voinovich, (one of the eight,) actually has a ticker tape on his website showing how the national debt is growing in leaps and bounds.. and he will be the first to say that he's against government spending.. How's that for a wolf in sheep's clothing?

      I am looking forward to when he comes up for reelection.

    21. richard40 says:

      At least there are only 8 repub earmarkers left. It limits the number the Tea Party will have to knock off in primary challenges.

    22. Hal Metzger, Scottsd says:

      Conservatives reading that disheartening note in Heritage and "earmarking" those Rhinos will go a long way towards bringining their vaulted and corrupt profes-sional careers to an abrupt end come 2012. Please, Heritage, etch their names in stone lest we ever forget this egregious vote after the American people spoke loud and clear in November 2010. I do hope that the House majority in early 2011 will be able to defund their states earmarks.

    23. Tsum says:

      It would be good to list the liberal republicans (read as the wolves in sheep's clothing) so we could contact them.

      Seems to me as if those 8 have already forgotten what happened in November. So sad because we also know that by election time in 2012 many voters also will have forgotten.

    24. Norma in Nebraska says:

      Eight Republican senators on Tuesday voted to preserve earmark spending despite pressure from the Tea Party movement.

      The eight Republicans were: Sens. Thad Cochran (Miss.), Susan Collins (Maine), James Inhofe (Okla.), Dick Lugar (Ind.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Richard Shelby (Ala.); Retiring Sen. George Voinovich (Ohio) and defeated Sen. Bob Bennett (Utah) also voted against it.

      Even though earmarks represent a small portion of overall discretionary spending, Tea Party activists have pressured lawmakers to outlaw the practice, saying it is a good way to start reining in high spending.

      Of the senators who voted against it, only Lugar faces reelection in 2012. Most observers anticipate that the veteran senator will receive a conservative primary challenger. Four other GOP senators in danger of facing a serious primary challenge — Bob Corker (Miss.), Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas), Orrin Hatch (Utah) and Olympia Snowe (Maine) — all voted in favor of banning earmarks.

      Snowe vote against a similar proposal in March.

      So conservatives, let's get busy to find someone to run against these people so we can eliminate the problem of RHINOs in Washington! The only way to take down the Washington establishment is one brick at a time, and that's what we have to do if we want to put the people back in charge of this government.

    25. Tim,Carrollton,Ga. says:

      I pray the Tea Party movement,will plaster these names wherever possible from now until 2012 elections and hopfully get rid of these RINOs once and for all. God help, that anyone thinks that our Country can't or won't go bankrupt ! What in heck is wrong with these idiots???

    26. Tim,Carrollton,Ga. says:

      Here came the RINOs and now here they go in 2012. It's a must if our Country is to survive ! God help us to get rid of anybody in Government that thinks it's a open checkbook for them to waste and spend.

    27. Paul Baioni says:

      I knew Murkowski was trouble. Why the PARTY didn't push Miller harder in Alaska is amazing. 6 more years of that traitor. RINO all the way, has been that way and will always be that way. I don't know how she did it but somehow I think she bought that election. Maybe she voted that way out of spite for not getting the support of the Party in Nov.

    28. Rev. Rick Stoneking says:

      These so called "Republicans" are RINO's! It is time real Republicans woke up and got rid of these remaining Democratic moles. None of them deserve the Republican label. Maybe we can get rid of the rest in the next election. Unfortunately, some just won, or stole, this past election as some claim of Murkowski but there day will come.

    29. Dorajean Havrilla says:

      is there a good party out there? Are they all liberals who can't wait to spend our hard earned money. In the last 15 years my income has gone down substantially. I had to learn to live on it. When will our politicians learn this lesson?

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×