March 11th, 2009
12:22 PM ET
5 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. Makes U Wonder

    Hmmmmmmm, wonder if Biden will know the web site information when asked.

    Obama is like most politicians--if their lips are moving they most
    likely are lying.

    March 11, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  2. Obama Victim

    yeah,,,right

    March 11, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  3. Renee' McDuffie

    If the repulicans did not like the earmarks then they should have already veto the bill. Anything Obama does you whinning bigots are going to find fault with him. The problem is all the corruption that the Bush adminstration had is coming to light. Bush, Chaney, Rumsfield should all go to jail. They don't care about this country and it shows. Halleburton coporate office in the Cayman Island does not paid any federal taxes and some had the nerve to question Obama's patriotism were is Chaney and Bushes? All of you bigot need get down on your knees and ask Almighty God to help you all.

    March 11, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  4. New Day

    I like what Obama has done but, if it were me, I would've set the tone by vetoing this bill.

    Ben, I agree that earmarks aren't all bad. Some projects are crucial and money well spent. However, I do the like the concept behind them. Why not create it's own appropriations bill? How often does a great bill get bogged down by so many useless "add-ons" that it can no longer do what it intended?

    I would rather have the Congress vote on 1000 bills than on 100 bills with 9 earmarks in them.

    March 11, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  5. Sawber

    The earmarks could have easily been eliminated if 53 Dems had not voted against the McCain amendment.

    Talk is cheap.

    There was an easy solution and the Dems made it clear what was important to them

    March 11, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  6. Jon in CA

    Don't blame me... I voted for the old guy!

    You moronic "progressives" will need to explain how exactly you swallow Obama's blatant hypocrisy.

    NO EARMARKS WHEN I'M PRESIDENT.... errr... NO EARMARKS AFTER MY FIRST YEAR IN OFFICE... errr.....

    March 11, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  7. 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.

    Start taking responsibility. You cannot continue to blame Bush for everything. People will eventually get tired of your nonsense. Remember Clinton? In 1994 the country went republican – why? because Bill was out of control. Maybe 2010 will send a strong message to you, and will you blame it on Bush still? And what about appointing a competent person to lead the nation financially? The treasury guy you picked is frankly a pathetic display of your poor judgment.

    March 11, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  8. Rick

    Barry knows that democrats don't mind being lied to so he will say whatever seems appropriate today and do whatever he feels like tomorrow.

    March 11, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  9. Michael M. Noonan

    Yeah, yeah, yeah. This will be broken promise number 8.

    March 11, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  10. richj

    Lead by example and VETO this bill. NOW!

    Just hollow words from a hollow man. He is a clone of Bill Clinton–say what they want to hear and do anything else!

    March 11, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  11. J

    Yea, FUTURE earmarks will not be allowed. Is he kidding ? Only after the next election, when either the PEOPLE will vote out the DEMS will he then start being and doing what he was elected. But if the Dems stay in control – you can bet it will be business as usual. This is a wait and see administration, not a take action one. Just like the vetting process, they knew all this issues, but did a wait and see....if anyone finds out, then we can say 'oops' instead of doing their jobs !
    Lets see if CNN will post this, the last 10 submitted comments on various issues – all anit-O have NOT made it to be viewed.

    March 11, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  12. Michigan Jim

    At the Obama/McCain debate on September 26, 2008 –

    "John, nobody is denying that $18 billion is important. And, absolutely, we need earmark reform . And when I'm president, I will go line by line to make sure that we are not spending money unwisely."

    Maybe next time around? Probably never. Change you shouldn't have believed in.

    March 11, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  13. Mike Syracuse, NY

    Obama has zero credability on this one. He needs to veto this spending bill with it's 9000 earmarks. Walk the walk Barry, don't just talk the talk. Another campaign promise bites the dust.

    March 11, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  14. Scott

    What is so wrong with earmarks? – Nothing when things are going good. But with all the trouble in the economy right now they should all be cut. As per Obama's promise.

    March 11, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  15. Tony

    " An end to the old way of doing business".......

    9,000 earmarks????? All should be ashamed Dems and Repubs.

    Hold on boys, we are going for a ride

    March 11, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  16. Jack

    And the Republicans are kicking and screaming. . . . . . .

    March 11, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  17. BethAnne

    Mr. Obama does not know how to say NO MORE when he needs to say NO MORE!

    March 11, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  18. Paris

    What a hypocrite you are Obama.

    March 11, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  19. Joanne

    President Obama hired lobbyists when he promised not to. He hired people who broke the tax laws and treats their actions as minor. He signs bills with billions in projects that are not debated on their merits ( i.e., earmarks). He follows former President' Bush's plans for gradual withdrawal in Iraq and ramps up his own war in Afghanistan. He does not censure Ms. Pelosi for using the US Air Force as her private jet line while she criticizes private secor CEOs for using corporate jets. Every day President Obama takes on another big issue without first solving the one hurting America most – which is the millions of jobs lost in the private sector. It is no wonder the American people are depressed and feeling betrayed.

    March 11, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  20. Jason B.

    You ever notice it's only called "pork" when it's "your" money? If it's "my" money it gets called something else?

    I'd be more OK with earmarks if the transparency is there to show where each dollar goes and why it's going there. Good grief, didn't a bunch of money go someplace once to build a whole center to study mosquitoes or something silly like that?

    March 11, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  21. And it grows and grows.....

    Nothing has changed, it's just another spin and lie like the majority of people in politics. It's business as usual in D.C.

    March 11, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  22. cheryl brooks from cali

    Earmarks! Earmarks! It's a shame that the same ol' states receive all the money for their cities when the city of Watts in Los Angeles County in the state of california haven't received money since 1965.... the city doesn't even have it's own Mayor hmmmmmmmmm...... Earmarks! Earmarks! I'm beginning to think they are for the wealthy only.... the tax payers are always getting the low end of the stick or no stick at all. Remember Poverity!!!!!!!!! Two Americas!!!!!! One rich and one poor.... Earmarks! Earmarks!!

    March 11, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  23. Capt. Snarky

    I still say if he had any balls, he'd veto this thing and make congress re-write it without earmarks. Earmarks are a backhanded way of financing. Put your request forward as a BILL, and vote on it.

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

    Well your right still hoping: it has to be approved by the queen of drama, she has a hold of obama's ear and is twisting it. Boy have not seen a woman with so much anger, forget that this a mans place in politics, we have not come so far that women run it. So that means she is going to bully obama to do her will. She runs the senate. Its simple.

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

    I am not surprised Obama not squashing earmarks since he himself had so many while in the Senate. So lets see I'll sign this one but not the next what an idiotic statement. He is not going to veto earmarks he owes to many dumbocrats on capital hill who put him where he is today.

    March 11, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
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