November 13th, 2010
10:20 AM ET
11 years ago

Parties call for a reformed Washington

(CNN) - Democrats and Republicans are calling for a different kind of Washington when the new members of Congress assume their posts January. For both parties that includes reduced spending and a ban on earmarks.

"Given the deficits that have mounted up over the past decade, we can't afford to make these investments unless we're also willing to cut what we don't need," President Obama said in his weekly address Saturday.

He also called for a three-year budget freeze and reform of the earmark process. An earmark is a legislative provision that directs approved funds to a specific project.

"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," Obama said.

The president's comments come after Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner and Minority Whip Rep. Eric Cantor announced Friday 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 representatives encouraged Democrats to do the same.

The priorities addressed in the "Pledge," including the reform of Washington were addressed by Republican Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon who chairs the Republican transition team as they prepare to take control of the House.

"We're also tracking down every last rule and roadblock rigged to keep government's spending binge on auto-pilot," Walden said in the GOP weekly address Saturday. "If we're ever going to change the broken status quo, we need to make it easier to cut spending and harder to increase it."

Walden said Boehner pledged to run the House "differently than it's been run in the past – by both parties" and stressed the diversity of the freshman class of Republican representatives.

"He's asked me to lead a transition effort designed to ensure our new majority will be ready to serve as the people's voice and implement the proposals that Americans are demanding."

– Follow Gabriella Schwarz on Twitter: @schwarzgcnn

Filed under: Congress • earmarks • GOP weekly address
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. BeanerECMO

    Re: "Given the deficits that have mounted up over the past decade, we can't afford to make these investments unless we're also willing to cut what we don't need," Bush's deficits were bad enough, but BHO's are atrocious. Stop the insanity!! Stop the spending!! Stop the borrowing!! Stop the printing (monetizing)!! Stop all bailouts!! Stop all subsidies!! Cut the three branches of the federal government (and associated agencies) budgets 5%/yr for, at least, the next 5 years!! Make the same cut at the state and municipal levels as well.

    November 13, 2010 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  2. diridi

    Reforms are;
    1. Senate and Congress that we can get rid of all old junk, and clean it and dump in junk bin.
    2. that BCBS do not bribe hospitals, and lot of others....
    3. Anti-deravatives in Banking sector, and Financial sector...
    4. Strictor Immigration, who hire illegals, put them in jail for ever....
    5. Education, it is a must...not wars...etc,., do these for now...later i tell you and guide...

    November 13, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  3. GonzoinHouston

    It's a wonderful concept, but I don't see it working in real life. As soon as some Congressman wants something, a special something for a big donor, it will go out the window. When they start trying to make real and serious cuts in the budget, which is desperately needed, partisanship and back-stabbing will resume. And what, pray tell, will happen when something comes up that the Tea Partiers back home don't like? The TP gang claims a mandate to never, ever, compromise.

    November 13, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  4. Bill from GA

    Considering that our government has been underfunded since the bush tax cuts, along with cuts in wasteful spending, we will eventually have to have tax reform resulting in more income to the Federal Government.

    I was never a big fan of George H. W. Bush, but his tax hike was one of the gutsiest moves a recent President has made. Especially compared to the shrub's invasion of Iraq.

    November 13, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  5. Darth Vadik, CA

    They have been calling for reforming the people (politicians) in Washington since 1776, hasn't worked keep dreaming 😉

    November 13, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  6. Bill from GA

    And here's a suggestion: since Congress needs to learn how to reform, maybe they need a stint in "Reform School".
    (Yeah, I know, that was stupid.)

    November 13, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  7. ss26mar

    Bravo sarah - great letter Madam president

    November 13, 2010 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  8. ss26mar

    right on madam president

    November 13, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |