November 16th, 2010
09:02 AM ET
4 years ago

Huckabee weighs in on battle over earmarks

(CNN) - Mike Huckabee jumped into the battle over earmarks, hours after Mitt Romney, another possible 2012 GOP presidential contender, weighed in on the matter.

The former Arkansas governor and 2008 Republican presidential candidate late Monday announced that he is launching an on-line petition that calls for the banning of earmarks.

"I agree that our country must take painful steps to rein in spending and reduce the deficit. I call on the lame duck session to show they are serious about stopping reckless spending and reducing the deficit by taking the step of permanently banning earmarks," says the petition, which Huckabee emailed to supporters through "Huck PAC," his political action committee.

Earlier Monday Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who also made a bid for the last Republican presidential nomination, launched an on-line petition supporting Sen. Jim DeMint's push to ban legislative earmarks. Romney, who along with Huckabee is considering a bid for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, put up his petition through "Free and Strong America PAC," his political action committee.

DeMint, a Republican from South Carolina who was just overwhelmingly re-elected to a second term, is leading an effort by conservative Republicans in the chamber to ban earmarks, which are a legislative provision that allows lawmakers to direct approved funds to specific projects.

A rules change pitched by DeMint and Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma is scheduled to be voted on Tuesday afternoon by the Republican Senate Conference. The non-binding rules change calls on all GOP Senators to unilaterally ban earmarks for the next two years. The ban would not affect Democratic senators to add spending measures to future bills.

DeMint's move had been opposed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, as well as other Senate Republicans, but McConnell changed his position Monday - potentially indicating a sea-change on the topic.
Friday House Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner, who will become House speaker come January, and Minority Whip Rep. Eric Cantor, announced that they will hold a GOP conference vote to ban earmarks, one of the proposals outlined in their "Pledge with America" released earlier this year.

The push to ban earmarks may have some support from President Barack Obama. In his Saturday internet and radio address, the president said, "I agree with those Republican and Democratic members of Congress who've recently said that in these challenging days we can't afford what are called earmarks."

Monday Obama applauded McConnell's change of position on earmarks, but his statement was criticized by Boehner, who questioned the president's sincerity on the issue.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PsteinhauserCNN


Filed under: Mike Huckabee • Mitt Romney
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. KatR

    Banning earmarks will do nothing to trim down the deficit. That's because it's money that has already been approved for expenditure. The only thing it will do is stop the practice of favoring the needs of one state over the needs of another state.

    November 16, 2010 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  2. Limbaugh is a liberal

    Every single one of these self-professed fiscal conservative senators has themselves been guilty of attaching millions of dollars worth of pork to the budget every year. Every single one of these republican governors accepted the pork money to their states during their tenure. NOW they suddenly think we will believe their BS about them being serious about stopping pork? Ha! I will believe it when I see it! And so far all I've seen is year after year of grand-standing by these same politicians with zero action!

    November 16, 2010 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  3. stufit

    Welcome aboard, Huck. Love your fair tax idea. You need to get more support for it.

    November 16, 2010 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  4. Peter E

    Huckabee has increased taxes and spending in his state during his tenure and gave amnesty to illegal immigrants, not to mention raided the budget for personal use, all the while state increasing debt by over a billion dollars. And that's just the facts aired by his fellow conservatives. He has no credibility even in his own party.

    November 16, 2010 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  5. Independent Voter

    Huckabee did not really impress me in 2008 .I did accidently watch his Fox show ONCE and he appeared to be dumb as Palin ..Also that FAT good for nothing Mississippi governor Hayley Barber should not considering running for president in 2012...He is a fat cat CROOK!This is the best republicans have? YIKES!!!!

    November 16, 2010 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  6. rdepontb

    Mike, of all the important issues that need new or renewed attention these days, jumping on a speeding bandwagon like earmark reform doesn't help anyone. It certainly doesn't help make you seem visionary, timely, or even relevant. _Please_ review the options and pick some new causes, something closer to your heart.

    November 16, 2010 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  7. Drumcp

    And so on and so on! And Palin, and Pawlently, and Christie, Thune, Gingrich... Following Romney's step! Opportunists... This proves that they are all followers and not people with ideas or ideals. Some would attack Romney on RomneyCare but they will fall by it. Romney is the most capable and qualified GOP candidate for 2012- And maybe the next POTUS!

    November 16, 2010 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  8. Cody

    GO MITT!! I only hope huckabee doesn't get as desperate as last time and resort to bashing Romney's religion... pathetic.

    November 16, 2010 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  9. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The problem is that many positive and needed projects have been funded with earmarks. There certainly needs to be reduction in the number of and the amount of money spent on the earmarks. The problem is what should be considered worth while for the earmarks isn't clear to everyone.

    November 16, 2010 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  10. Ben in Texas

    All the loud posturing by Repugnants over earmarks, that make up less than 1% of the budget, while at the same time advocating extension of the rich-guy tax give away that has killed our economy for years! These guys don't care about reining in deficit spending. They care about getting themselves re-elected so that they can shovel more money to their bosses, who happen to be the 2% richest pigs in the country.

    Now, that's pork from the Kings of Pork: the Repugnant Party!

    November 16, 2010 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  11. Dean

    Before ending earmarks how about we quit giving money to our enemies like N. Korea and others who hate us. The government is not supposed to support religion in this country but it can use taxpayer dollars to remodel mosques in other part of the world? Let's stop the stupid foreign spending along with earmarks.

    November 16, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  12. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    What is this? Follow the leader? Well the leader of this nation is President Obama and he's been called for an end to earmarks. Remember that whole "Bridge to Nowhere" debate.

    November 16, 2010 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  13. Davis Mtns

    Even though they say it is a pttance in terms of dollars the ban of earmarks would be a great first step. They call it small but if it was a business it would have already been cut.

    November 16, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  14. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    How about banning lobbyist if you're really concerned about spending; it's the lobbyist that payoff politicians to get what they want for big business, but no, that's millions of dollars that goes in politicians back pockets. These people aren't concerned about spending, they're playing "feel good" games with the American people, they are their own "pet projects".

    November 16, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  15. LouAz

    More meaningless "Vote for Me" fluff and another "send money" appeal by a devout flag waver.

    November 16, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |