March 11th, 2010
12:45 PM ET
4 years ago

House GOP adopts complete earmark ban

Washington (CNN) - House Republicans agreed Thursday to adopt a ban on congressional earmarks in spending bills for next year, upping the ante with Democrats in the political battle over fiscal responsibility and pork barrel spending.

"Federal spending is out of control and the American people know it," said Rep. Mike Pence, R-Indiana. Earmarks are "emblematic of everything that's wrong" in Washington, he said.

"Earmarks" refer to federal funding designated for particular projects, with taxpayer money allocated by members of Congress to home-state and home-district projects, often with an eye toward re-election.

Such projects bring money into a congressman's district - providing jobs and funding projects sought by local constituents.

House Democrats said Wednesday they will ban earmarks directed to for-profit companies. The move would apply to government spending bills Congress is considering for next year. But key Democratic committee leaders said in a written statement the new rules are also "intended to become a long term proposition."

House Democrats added new rules last year requiring members to post their requests online on their own Web sites, but the Appropriations Committee will create a "one stop" link so the public can view all requests for federal dollars.

According to Taxpayers for Common Sense, a watchdog group that tracks earmark spending, there were 9,500 earmarks this year worth $15.9 billion.

The announcement on earmarks comes as Congress contends with stories about ethics violations and public opinion polls showing the public is fed up with excessive Washington spending.

–CNN's Deirdre Walsh, Evan Glass and Alan Silverleib contributed to this report


Filed under: GOP
soundoff (98 Responses)
  1. Navy Vet

    Too late, already done first by the Dems.

    March 11, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    First two comments I read are typical libertard type comments, degrading and demeaning, one particularly nasty name caller who likes to make up works while he is sitting at home smoking his dope.

    March 11, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  3. Not Blue, Not Red, but Purple

    Good move will the other side follow?

    March 11, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  4. rs

    Finally, something other than No! Watch though, they'll probably vote against it...

    March 11, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  5. D. Bunker

    So does this mean the GOP will stop pushing for 'hometown' military projects the Pentagon no longer wants? Somehow, I'm guessing there may be some loopholes in this GOP proposal.

    March 11, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  6. chuck

    How are we going to fund our wars? The Republicans hate this country................

    March 11, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  7. Michael

    Why did republicans refuse to do this when Bush was president? It's just like they're desire for term limits....until they took control of the house. They are frauds.

    March 11, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  8. forgive me not

    Silly you the repug received most of the earmark. THE PORK

    March 11, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  9. Annie, Atlanta

    We need a progressive tax like we had under Eisenhower in the 50s. We can't fund two wars, deal with a recession/depression and massive unemployment, etc. without those of us who can paying our fair share, or more.

    And what about the earmarks that create jobs. Will those be banished under this bill, too? Is that such a good idea right now. Not all earmarks are bad. We have to remember that.

    And totally off topic – why isn't Congress reigning in Wall Street before they send us over the cliff again? Or do they truly own our representation in D.C.?

    March 11, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  10. David Johnston

    They will change it back once they get their hands on the controls.

    March 11, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  11. nadine

    How about banning earmarks all together!!! Dems announced banning earmarks, Repubs comes out the next day echoing the same statement. These groups are so childish.

    March 11, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  12. john in binghamton NY

    It is ONLY on spending bills and ONLY for next year. Would not cover most earmarks and they know that. If they were serious they would ban all earmarks with no fine print and no weasel words. What is stopping them from just not requesting earmarks now or 8 years ago? Nothing, they want their earmarks and only complain about other earmarks.

    March 11, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  13. Yvette

    CNN; sometimes I'm pleasantly surprise that you guys report some positive things that GOP proposes. They will take over the House/Senate in 2010.

    March 11, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  14. Glenn, Cary, NC

    Wow. Just like term limits and a balanced budget. Fool me once... (you know the rest).

    March 11, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  15. John

    I love it, the republicans used earmarks to load up pork in their districts for the last two decades and now that they find themselves in the minority, they want to get fiscally responsible.

    Well, the first step in fiscal responsibility is to have the rich pay their "fair share" in taxes. The second step would be to reverse the pork barrel shift of government contractor jobs away from the republican districts where they were moved in various plant and base closures. These closures were done with a stacked deck in the selection process and should be re-visited with the new congress. Third, the republican distortion of the Civil Service hiring practice needs to be remedied with corrective actions to eliminate those hired and/or promoted and replace them under the Civil Service Process.

    March 11, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  16. Adam

    LOL! They propose this only AFTER the Dems have proposed a similar measure. Why not before, why not years ago? The Republican Party has become a caricature–and a stick in the eye to the electorate.

    March 11, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  17. jane

    Of course, they want to adopt an earmark bill or at least, bring up the subject - that is, until they control Congress again, at which time they'll no doubt want it removed.

    March 11, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  18. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but....

    Does this include defense contracts? I'm guessing no. Have a nice day!

    March 11, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  19. Jim

    Notice it a "propsed ban" – FOR NEXT YEAR!

    Like that will happen.

    Why not for this year?

    OR why didn't they propose this in the previous 9 years?

    Liars,
    Hypocrites
    The party of No.

    March 11, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    Soooooo, the guys complaining that sweeping reforms should be done piecemeal want to enact a sweeping reform without any consideration of the effect on charities, government institutions and other "not-for-profits" that frequently receive very useful and legitimate earmark money, particularly when it is an emergency for them?

    March 11, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  21. Jim

    The ban is for only 1 year...why not make it permanent?

    March 11, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  22. Mission

    Right, they are only against it when they are not in power. Such dishonest and hypocritical characters they are. They are only concerned with, "what can you do for me". It's not about the people they represent, it's about how they can benefit. They ought to be ashamed of themselves but you know they are not!

    March 11, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  23. Kevin in Ohio

    Time for the democrats to follow suit. BAN ALL EARMARKS. Stop the spending madness!

    March 11, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
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