PoliticalNews.me - Mar 08,2017 - Flake Leads Colleagues in Urging President Trump to Veto Bills with Earmarks
Senate effort comes amid reports that House will hold hearings on rolling back earmark ban
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) sent a letter urging President Donald Trump to make it clear that he will veto any bill containing congressional earmarks. Such a veto threat would likely bring an end ongoing efforts in the House to bring back the wasteful and corrupt practice of congressional earmarking. The letter was also signed by U.S. Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.).
“Fondly described as a ‘favor factory’ by a lobbyist convicted of exchanging gifts for government grants, earmarks represent the pay-to-play culture you have pledged to end. It is unfathomable to those of us who fought to end earmarks and witnessed our colleagues go to jail for corruption that pork barrel politics would return, especially at this time when Americans are clearly fed up with business-as-usual,” wrote the senators. “…We respectfully urge you to make it clear that you will veto any bill Congress sends to you containing earmarks within the legislative text or the accompanying report. We look forward to working with you to make Washington more accountable and stop wasteful spending where it starts, which is often right here in Congress..”
View a signed copy of the letter here.
Text of the letter can be viewed below.
On Feb. 3, 2017, Roll Call reported that the House Rules Committee plans to hold a series of hearings about rolling back the congressional earmark ban. To read the article, click here.
On Jan. 10, 2017, the Senate Republican conference voted to approve Flake’s amendment to extend the chamber’s moratorium on earmarking into the 115th Congress. For more information on Flake’s successful amendment, click here.
In June 2015, Flake responded to calls for a return to the practice of congressional earmarking by releasing Jurassic Pork, a report highlighting the continued cost of pork projects in the post-earmark-ban era. The report, along with Flake’s Jurassic Pork Act, helped lead to the elimination of long-term, unobligated transportation earmarks – also called orphan earmarks – in the 2016 omnibus. For more information on Flake’s Jurassic Pork report, click here.
From 2003 to 2010, Flake highlighted an Egregious Earmark of the Week. The series concluded when Congress enacted the current self-imposed moratorium on congressional earmarks.
March 7, 2017
President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Trump,
With our national debt set to top $20 trillion within days and growing at a rate of over half-a-trillion dollars a year, bringing fiscal sanity to the federal budget requires immediate attention and action. We write today to urge opposition to any efforts by Congress to return to earmarking.
While cutting unnecessary and wasteful spending may be commonsense to most taxpayers, behind every dollar spent is a boisterous special interest group with the loudest being Congress itself. Even with