November 12th, 2010
08:53 PM ET
8 years ago

Republicans call for earmark ban

(CNN) - Republican House leaders are calling for a vote on an earmark ban next week when Congress returns for a lame duck session.

In a statement, House Republican leader Rep. John Boehner and Republican House whip Rep. Eric Cantor said the GOP conference will hold a vote and call on the Democratic leadership to do the same.

"Earmarks have become a symbol of dysfunctional Congress and serve as a fuel line for the culture of spending that has dominated Washington for too long," the members said in a joint statement.

They reference President Obama's voiced support for earmark reform and say Washington has previously "failed to prioritize the way that taxpayer dollars are spent."

The announcement comes as Republicans prepare to become the majority party in the House, a shift that will likely include a Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Earmark reform was one of the items addressed in the Republican "Pledge to America," which outlined priorities for Republicans going forward.

- CNN's Dana Bash, Deirdre Walsh and Gabriella Schwarz contributed to this report

Filed under: Congress • earmarks • House Republicans
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. MM

    Dems, call their bluff and see what happens. Both sides put in enough earmarks to last a lifetime but let's see if the Republicans are ready to put up or shut up.

    November 12, 2010 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  2. Clwyd

    So why now? They sure didn't mind putting in earmarks for 8 years with the bushwhacker!

    November 12, 2010 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  3. Jeremy

    This sounds good. Then refuse to extend the tax cuts. For EVERYBODY. Get every tax payer in this nation to look at their tax bills, and think: What exactly am I paying for?

    November 12, 2010 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  4. diridi

    they also need to call for "Senate and Congress Term Limits", so that these old junk will be cleared and nation is going to be good..I bet it is all drama...just they need to ban earmarks, entitlements and talk further...o.k, I do not believe them at all...

    November 12, 2010 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  5. George of the jungle

    This is something the president has wanted so now all of a sudden it is a repo idea.?Orange man has not had an original idea in the last two years why should he have one now. Isnt this one of the items the new task force mentioned in it's report. What a creep.

    November 12, 2010 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  6. dwayne

    GOP Billions of dollars tax cut for billionaires. Is tea party OK with tax cut for billionaires? GOP; Where are the jobs? JOBS JOBS

    November 12, 2010 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  7. Bob in Pa

    Every piece of legislation or spending should be presented to Congress and the American people as it's own bill.
    Lets simplify our government. No more back room bribes to get someones vote. Straight up or down on each item.

    November 12, 2010 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  8. GonzoinHouston

    Another Tea Party demand paid off with hot air. There will be a vote, and neither party will vote to ban earmarks. There won't even be a vote in the Senate. Banning earmarks would be a wonderful thing, but it would reduce the power of the politicians, and the politicians won't let it happen.

    But boy, would I be happy to admit I was wrong if it passes.

    November 12, 2010 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  9. Phoenix86

    Dens will never agree to this. They need tp pay off their union friends.

    November 12, 2010 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  10. 66Biker

    Oh my God... The Republicons have a good idea there. It kinda makes me wonder what they are really up to...

    November 12, 2010 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  11. J.V.Hodgson

    Great, wont go any where near solving the deficit but will force our politicians to vote on any bill on "the merits of that BILL" at least that's what I want and hope, no backdoor routes please.

    November 12, 2010 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  12. Frank

    BFD. Banning earmarks is a tiny drop in the bucket, and the GOP thinks the public is so stupid it will not understand that this is a meaningless vote. The real meaningful vote wold be to let all of the Bush tax cuts expire. Bush and the GOP Congress at the time know they were "unsustainable" but the current GOP is pretending to have forgotten that too!

    November 12, 2010 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  13. Aaron

    This is an excellent idea. However, these politicians cannot live without earmarks to pay their croonies and family members. The Dems should accept the idea and see Boehner scramble as fast as they do to get a loophole where the earmarks will continue. Both party's reps depend on our tax dollars to keep them and their croonies/families living lavishing....earmarks are a legal form of theft, so they won't be going anywhere.

    November 13, 2010 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  14. Four and The Door

    These are welcome changes in Washington. Americans voices are heard clearly through their votes.

    November 13, 2010 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  15. GOP is scared to govern!

    WOW! The RepublicanTea Party are scared to take a stance on earmarks and need the Dems for cover. I like earmarks. I like them to go to a worthy cause. like Youth centers, Libraries and Parks, ects. You get my drift. Earmarks should only go to public use project only.

    November 13, 2010 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  16. Frank in Valparaiso Indiana

    What a crock, every Republican Congressman whose district I have lived in has brought home the pork. And some were real hogs.

    November 13, 2010 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  17. cane

    Bringing home the pork is what congressman and senators strive to do. The process went off the rails when funding was slipped into bills unseen by the light of day. The standards legislators are being held to is a fantasy. They are elected by local constituents not by the electorate at large. Open up the process, let them defend the projects or programs and let them all vote up or down. Spending an inordinate amount of time on pure politics is why we find ourselves in this mess to begin with.

    November 13, 2010 02:22 am at 2:22 am |
  18. ThinkAgain

    Once again, the American public is being mislead by the hysterics on the Right. Congressional and Senate representatives are SUPPOSED to secure funding – often in the form of earmarks – for their constituents. How else are they going to get federal funding for major projects that their states/locales can't pay for themselves?

    The problem isn't the earmark system; it's the corrupt yahoos who secure funding for their cronies that benefit the few and don't really add to the economy beyond the bank accounts of those cronies. Recent example: The Bridge to Nowhere that Palin pushed for and received.

    So, folks, don't throw the baby out with the bath water. Find out what projects are getting funded and raise a stink if you're Congressman/woman and/or Senator are lining their pockets or are actually bringing much-needed dollars to your state!

    November 13, 2010 02:24 am at 2:24 am |
  19. W.G.

    Paul Rand refuses to commit to cutting back on payments to doctors in medicaid programs
    but is willing to sell out the SUCKERS that voted for him and the rest of the Ultra far right .
    If it wasn´t so tragic itwould be comical millions of old geezers are in danger of losing
    Soc Sec. payments and reduction in medicaid but he refuses cutting back payments to
    doctors . the republicans have´nt changed they ´re still bent on raping and pillage of
    America in the name of the RICH !

    November 13, 2010 05:55 am at 5:55 am |
  20. Allen in Hartwell GA

    If memory serves me correctly, in 1994, the year before Republicans took over the House last time, there were less than 1,000 earmarks. By 2005 when earmarks peaked, there were over 13,000 earmarks. This remarkable feat was accomplished under Republican leadership. Now the same people are saying they want to ban earmarks!?!?.........................,(waiting for the punch line)

    November 13, 2010 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  21. Nate

    I just read an article last night that they had written a letter to Obama asking him to veto any bill that contains earmarks, now they are asking the democrat lead lame duck congress to pass a bill banning ear marks. Wow! If they were any more serious about banning ear marks, they might even ask fellow republicans to do the same when the new congress meets- but I have a funny feeling that's not going to happen.

    November 13, 2010 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  22. rdepontb

    The new Republican majority in the Congress knows they've got the Democrat-led Senate to stop any nonsensical, ill-conceived but bold-seeming legislation they try to put through. So they see ear-marks and other things as win-win for the Republicans. I say, LET'S GET ON WITH LEGISLATING HONESTLY and not wasting any more taxpayer time and money-one of those items has already run out! Boehner and Cantor-do right by America.

    November 13, 2010 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  23. Mattski

    Go go go! This is one of the biggest issues IMO. I know earmarks amount to a small percentage or our spending, but the whole practice reeks of corruption. This resolution will show who is truly ready for change and who isn't.

    November 13, 2010 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  24. Thomas

    More deception and misdirection from the GOP. The earmarks they are referencing are called Soft Earmarks and they do not increase the spending one dime. Soft earmarks only determine where the already approved monies are spent.

    Hard Earmarks, which do increase the spending are managed in both houses under different rules.

    November 13, 2010 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  25. w l jones

    While debating whether to repeal earmark money have the FBI put a bug on the one already past and follow the money trail. Said enough.

    November 13, 2010 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
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