Today, the entire House Republican Conference voted to place a moratorium on requesting earmarks, taking a big step toward spending reforms long advocated by U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland.
“The earmark system in Congress is broken, and we needed to take dramatic action like we did today to show the American people we’re serious about doing a better job using their taxpayers wisely and efficiently,” Westmoreland said. “Along with several other conservative legislators, I took this stand against earmarks on my own several years ago, and I have refused to place projects in appropriations bills.
“The way earmarks are done in the House rewards seniority and power of members. It funds projects outside of the competitive process with little means of measuring success or cost-benefit analysis. Tax dollars should go first and foremost to national priorities, they should be distributed fairly and equitably, and when projects fall short of expectations, the funding should end.
“Americans, rightly, have lost faith in Washington’s ability to be responsible with their money. We’ve taken a positive step today. The Democrats’ vow to end all earmarks to for-profit businesses is just more smoke-and-mirrors; it leaves most earmarks safely in place and does nothing to correct the impression that members of Congress are using the federal treasury as a political piggy bank.”
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