May 4, 2012
Some Republicans in Congress are looking to roll back the common-sense earmark ban conservatives imposed after the 2010 election.
They favor using an obscure type of legislation called a miscellaneous tariff bill to allow lawmakers to direct spending to individual companies or interest groups.
Mike Needham and Tim Chapman, CEO and COO of Heritage Action for America, explain the challenge with this approach:
Earmarks grease the skids by — for all intents and purposes — buying the votes of individual lawmakers who would not otherwise vote in favor of a specific bill. The $30 billion in taxpayer bailouts for the disastrous 2005 highway bill — with its 6,300 earmarks — should serve as a stark reminder for congressional Republicans of how disastrous policy can become law. . . .
In order to win big in November, conservatives must be committed to bold reforms that limit the size and scope of the federal government. Those reforms will never happen if Congress — and the members most naturally committed to limited government — return to business-as-usual legislating and self-dealing. Congress needs to live by the earmark moratorium it put in place and pursue the necessary goal of comprehensive tariff reduction.
Heritage Action is a sister organization of The Heritage Foundation.
What do you think? Should the earmark moratorium be continued? Tell us in the comments.