March 11th, 2009
12:22 PM ET
6 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. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Now you should clearly see why Republicans "hate" Obama and why we Americans love him. We all need to know whose being bought and sold with our tax money.

    March 11, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  2. tee

    You're doing a great job Mr President. Keep up the good work for the people of the United States, while the repugs senators and their followers continue with their petty complaints and constant criticism. meanwhile not offering any solutions. By the time they wake up you will have American on the right track. Sad thing about it is, they will still find something to complain about.

    BEST PRESIDENT EVER-MUCH RESPECT

    March 11, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  3. leon

    Obama keeps playing high art politics as he has always done to show a face and image that is different from his real actions and values.

    So this time earmarks are right but next time they are not, Why? why not to veto the bill and shave the earmarks that are not important to the crucial problem we have right now which is the economy, the financial system and the house market. Concentrate on these three isuues and stop using tax money to keep campaigning around the country. The Campaign is over and we know that you will run in 2012 but now do your job

    March 11, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  4. Ted

    Mr. Obama,

    I can't stand hearing your endless blaming of the past this and blaming of the past that. Get a life of your own! If you're going to try to turn us all into socialist lemmings, then just get on with it and stop trying to hide what you are doing under the smokescreen of 'those people before me did such and such... wah wah wah!'

    You are a deceitful man Barack Obama, no different than any other crooked politician before, the only really scary part is that you have an agenda that you are ramming down our throats under the guise of this financial 'crisis'. One that will be over in good time, so you need to get all of your society molding done quickly, before the country knows what's happened.

    It will take a decade to undo the damage you are about to do to us, but I'm not afraid, we'll undo what you're about to do, over time, with God's help, or with the help of the Earth Mother, or Allah, or the Great Turtle in the Sky... we'll undo your steamroller antics.

    March 11, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  5. Mark

    Obama hasn't done anything with the lobbyist he campaigned against. He tends to say one thing and do another but as long as the people buy off on it.

    March 11, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  6. Hawaii gal

    What is wrong with earmarks? I bet they will be putting people to work, which is what is really needed right now. Obama is doing a great job so far, he is keeping true to his campaign promises. I am impressed with the job he is doing. Keep up the good work, I say. Most Americans feel the same way, it is only the republicans that are overly critical, sore loosers! BUT what cracks me up is that since what he is doing is working (Citibank announced yesterday that they expect to have biggest quarterly profit since 2007) the republicans critize him saying he is too "too" much! That is because they cannot walk and chew gum at the same time, like Obama can. Our President and leader of the free world needs to be able to work on multiple issues all at the same time, and it appears that Obama is doing exactly that.

    March 11, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  7. Lee, Florida

    who is he kidding!!! Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are running the country because he is too inexperienced to stand up to them. I believe this about as much as I believed he wouldn't hire any lobbyists and wouldn't sign any bills that have not been posted 5 days for the American people to review.

    It's just more CHANGE YOU CANNOT BELIEVE IN!

    March 11, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  8. Darryl MIller

    Mr. President, All the "Fat Cats" are laughin at you as you sign all those big bills in to law. Yes, those same "Fat Cats" that use the money that you wanted them to create jobs they are using to fatten thier own pockets.

    When you give the money to the banks they invest over seas?

    Bad move they are laughin and enough is enough!!!!! Stop the give aways......

    March 11, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  9. Bld

    What is a bad earmark and what is a good earmark? Which of the 9,000 earmarks in the current bill are good and which are bad?

    March 11, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  10. maxx Atlanta GA

    This is just another leg the repugs think they can stan on (earmarks) please go away you are not relevant ....52% of Americans like and understand what our President is doing....... this is why education is so important so our youth will not end up ast ignorant as repugs!!!!!!!!!!

    March 11, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  11. Mark

    I don't care if this bill originated during the Bush administration.

    This is being a signed and voted on during Obama's term. He has the ability to stop and have them redo the bill. He had no problem overturning Executive Orders the Bush administrations issued.

    In my view, there is no next time this was your time to prove to all Americans, those who support him, those that are hesitate to support and to those that do not believe in him that he is different and is going to change and not simply play politics as usual.

    I am very disappoint with this action of Obama and all those in elected positions that have or had tax problems.

    March 11, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  12. Sean T

    Wingnuts are out in full force today!
    Steele must have hired some new bloggers!

    Half of the the earmarks are form Repubs! And if anyone cared to research they rose to the heights of lunacy during the 6 Bush years REpubs had control of Congress. Suddenly they are no longer in power and they are crying about them.
    Typical Hypocrites... Grand Obsructionist Party ..afterall!

    March 11, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  13. bill

    just one word for PRESIDENT OBAMA STAY ON MESSAGE.it is refreshing to actually see someone in government working his but off.HANG IN THERE PRESIDENT OBAMA. YES WE CAN YES WE CAN

    March 11, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  14. Kathy Corey

    If this is change we can believe in...veto the bill. It is not Bush's bill or last year's bill...it is this year's bill and Obama bill if signed.

    March 11, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  15. Hammer

    A do over? Do you believe him this time?

    March 11, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  16. Riaz

    Ben... you are bringing another point... Do we really need so many small towns, mayors, police chief etc., New York City, 7 million people, one mayor, one police chief.. New Jersey.. 8 million people, around 100 plus towns, 100+ mayors, 100+ police chiefs, etc etc.,, TIME TO RETHINK and organize IN A BETTER SMART SYSTEM... Hope someone is listening... Why do we need 2 senators for Alaska, SD, Maine, Vermont, ND etc., I think we can save lot of tax payers money, if we re-organize !!!

    March 11, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  17. JP

    The 800 billion stimulus was loaded with pork as is his 410 billion budget. I do believe Obama will at some cut pork spending by spending so much that 100% of some future will be for interest to serve the national dept. This guy makes George Bush look good.

    March 11, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  18. George, Greenville

    Obama and the supporters of this bill have everyone believing that the givernment can't function without this bill. That is a lie. The givernment will just have to live without its 8% raise. Well, guess what. Not many Americans got an 8% raise last year. Obama can imply this is Bush's fault all he wants, but if he signs this bill, it is HIS choice and he should at least take responsibility for it. Face it, you people who voted for him were schnookered!

    March 11, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  19. Toby in Florida

    Obama had a choice and he chose to ignore it, therefore breaking his pledge to the American people. He had NO PROBLEM undoing policies set by the former admistration. Chnage seems to be only when it suits Mr. Obama and Ms. Pelosi.

    March 11, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  20. Dan

    Obama is a typical old fashioned tax and spend liberal Democrat. We threw out the Republicans because of excessive spending and we should throw out Obama and the Dems in Congress for the same reason. How much longer will the Chinese keep buying our debt? How much longer will the media protect this guy?

    March 11, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  21. Free Thinker

    Can't wait to see which future earmarks don't "have a legitimate and worthy public purpose." Our so called president is such a liar!

    March 11, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  22. Mike

    Funny how some people expect Obama to end 100+ years of priviledge and tradition in his first two months in office. Ignorance abounds.

    March 11, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  23. BokChoi

    Hypocrisy at its best. Bo = Hypo – Alas you turned out to be yet another garden variety liar of a politician!!

    In the end: Americans = SUCKERS

    in 2004 they voted for Bush in troves 'coz he was fighting to preserve their freedon. In 2008 they voted for Bo 'coz he wud be fighting to preserve their morals (humanity whetever u want to call it). In the end Americans always end up as bag holders.... What we need is some Education!! How can this country with so many uneducated country yodels be the most powerful country on this planet... Scary...... Only in America cud you have followed up a George Bush with a Barack Obama...... Two end of the lying spectrum........ Ultra Violet to the Infra Red........

    March 11, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  24. D. King

    Keep spending you fools, when the country goes broke we'll know where to find you. And to the brilliant minds that think these earmarks will stimulate the economy, pathetic sheeple.

    March 11, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  25. Reatte Beaumont, Texas

    What a laughable bunch of losers that are on capital hill from both parties they all need to be fired and we need to start over again with a fresh set of faces that are for the American Citizens not for themselves like these dumb ones are hope that in two and four years we remember all this crap that they say.

    GOD HELP ALL OF US AND AMERICA
    from the way it's going we will really need it

    March 11, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
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