March 11th, 2009
12:22 PM ET
9 years ago

Obama: 'An end to the old way of doing business'

President Obama says future earmarks should be made public on lawmakers' Web sites.

President Obama says future earmarks should be made public on lawmakers' Web sites.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama on Wednesday called for a reform of the much-maligned federal earmarking process.

Earmarks are unrelated pet projects that members of Congress insert in spending bills.

The president said it was time for Congress and the White House to embrace a new set of guiding principles.

His remarks came the day after the Senate passed a $410 billion spending bill that included nearly 9,000 earmarks, which are projects designed to benefit individual legislators' districts.

The earmarks in the spending bill are worth nearly $8 billion. Many critics have deemed them as wasteful, and some observers have questioned Obama's pledge to end such spending.

Some lawmakers urged Obama to veto the bill - saying it goes against the president's campaign pledge.

Obama said that while he would sign the bill, which funds the government for the remainder of the current fiscal year, future earmarks should "have a legitimate and worthy public purpose."

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Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (98 Responses)
  1. Obama 2.0

    It has his name on it NOT MINE!

    March 11, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  2. Mel

    And thats exactly whats needed. Transparency, accountability, and a lessening of the greed of corporations.

    March 11, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  3. still hoping

    Maybe next time huh obama?

    Is he sure this is OK with Pelosi?
    Probably, he knows better than to not check with her first now.

    March 11, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  4. A.P

    Mr Pres Obama.
    50 Days Honeymoon Very Good Keep Going Keep Going

    March 11, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  5. shoegazer

    Earmarks,change that to beermarks and you'll have an easier time getting people on board with the spending.

    March 11, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  6. bj, Texas

    Obama said that while he would sign the bill, which funds the government for the remainder of the current fiscal year, future earmarks should "have a legitimate and worthy public purpose."

    Obama translation: I lied to the American people of about vetoing earmark projects.

    Change we can believe in! Yes we can!

    What a crock.

    March 11, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  7. katiec

    President Obama has no choice but to sign the bill as it is needed to keep our government operative.
    Some earmarks are good, the only way to get funds for much needed projects. Unfortunately, some are absolutely ridiculous and there must be put in place the ability to weed these out.
    Survival of our country first, politicans!!

    March 11, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  8. CSD

    When is it going to be "this years business" ? When are you going to stop blaming others and start leading ?

    March 11, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  9. Independent Paul

    "We need to reform earmarks....right after i sign $410 billion into law that the country doesn't have to waste."

    March 11, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  10. Susann

    Obama is showing clear evidence of caring for the people. The bill was needed, but he said from here on out the earmarks have to stop. Great Advocate for the People – President Barack Obama!

    March 11, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  11. atypical

    Obama is doing a stellar job and I expect we'll see more of the same.

    March 11, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  12. fred

    So, pretty much Obama is saying......I'll sign this one, but next time I won't?? OK Obama, I want to see you start to veto when the next one comes around. Anyone think he will?? I highly doubt it.

    March 11, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  13. TerryV

    Barack Obama...your pathetic honeymoon with America will soon be at an end. You cannot keep promising in one hand and committing executive incompetence in the other.

    March 11, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  14. RR

    Anyone else hear the snickering coming from the capitol building?

    March 11, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  15. ben

    What is so wrong with earmarks? Why cant you people(not all) understand we are not a democracy, we are a republic. What is a republic? It is a conglameration of individual states who send representatives to Washington to litigate for their personal states needs.
    If you live in a state whose main scorce of incom is beef cattle, you send a representative to try every way possible to insert earmarks that aid the cattle farmers. Now this might not sit well with others who live in a state whose main scource of incom is vegitarian food. I realize this is rather a
    poor example, but it proves we are not a democracy when a state like Alaska with 625000 population has as many senators as California with close to 40 million population. So Alaska has to jam in earmarks if they ever want to reap any benefits from the federal govt.

    March 11, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |


    DO YOU REMEMBER : I'LL,,,,,,,,,,TAKE,,,,,,,,,,PUBLIC FINANCING ? ?

    I,,,,,,,,WON'T,,,,,,,,,,,,HIRE,,,,,,,,,,,LOBBYSTS ? ? I'LL,,,,,,,,,,,FILL,,,,,,,,,MY,,,,,,

    CABINET,,,,,,,,,,WITH,,,,,,,,HONORABLE,,,,,,,,,,PEOPLE ? ?

    March 11, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  17. karen-Phoenix

    Great President Obama!!! The banks, Wall St. and the lobbiests in Washington are finnally realizing you will NOT play their games and you are serious about working for the American worker!!! Thank you!
    Sorta like having the flue–everything must be "thrown up" before you fell better. Get rid of GREED!!! It is destroying this country! Thank you President Obama for sticking with your promises!!! Get rid of them!!

    March 11, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  18. digger

    Obama double talking again. That's the only thing he's good at.

    March 11, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  19. Ken

    Amazing! Earmarks for Government are OK, Earmarks for private business are not OK. I believe no tax money should go to prop up private business, ever. But here we have the King of Pork, and the King of funneling tax dollars to prop up failing businesses, and he is telling us Government is a more effective user of capital than private business? It takes some real faith to believe the line he is feeding the nation. Stand by for change (invest outside of the country).

    March 11, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  20. will

    Ear Marks without the pork spending is a good thing, and I like the idea about allowing the people to look at the Ear Marks before they are voted on because that will give the public a great chance to agree or disagree on such spending. If we can just think about all of the pork spending that was ill-afforded doing the Iraq War, and those who are part of the Republican Party who just gave G.W. Bush a free hand and blank checks to do as he pleased is a big cost of the economic problem that the American people are facing now. Because of nothing more than pure negation of jobs, education, health, and the infrastructural of the United States of America is another reason America has such the economic problem it has today.

    March 11, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  21. Hispanic in Dallas, TX


    Nothing has changed and nothing is going to change with this President...that's very clear...he's all about the talk to get elected, but not the actually action, but I guess what did we expect considering he did nothing as a senator!

    March 11, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  22. dan

    This would be a more meaningful response if the stimulus bill and the budget bill the President just got done signing weren't loaded with earmarks. Sounds good to talk about doing something to curtail earmarks but when given the chance to act upon the talk no action was taken. Bottom line, empty promises and hot air.

    March 11, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  23. No business like old business

    Judging by the president's decision not to veto the bill, I guess the business still has a few good years left.

    March 11, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  24. Voter

    Obama does not have credibility. I voted for him but will not support any democrat from now on.

    Obama says he wants earmark reform, yet he just signed a 410 billion dollar spending bill full of earmarks. His excuse? It's last year's business. Well, guess what? The nation did not elect you to finish what Bush would have done. You have a democratic congress, so stop the nonsense, people are not dumb.

    Republicans criticize earmarks, yet they put their own in the bill. Obama says: reform, yet he signs the bill, full of earmarks from dems and reps.

    March 11, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  25. Cheri

    President Obama is doing a fine job.It's about time we have a President who puts the american people first.

    March 11, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
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