UPDATE: House GOP moves on earmarks

House Republicans will force a vote on an earmark moratorium tomorrow. The moratorium is sponsored by Rep. Jack Kingston. This measure was adopted by the House Republican Conference as the “standard” for earmark reform during a retreat last month.

Kingston’s moratorium would setup a committee to study earmarks and exclude certain earmarks from the appropriations process and would hold the Executive Branch accountable for its earmark requests.

Some members are swearing off earmarks on their own until Congress reviews the process. However, only two members from Georgia have joined that list (Lynn Westmoreland and Tom Price).

You can read the text of Kingston’s moratorium here.

[UPDATE] The moratorium failed, 204 to 196. It’s important to note that a “yea” vote was against the moratorium. Seven Democrats joined 189 Republicans to support the measure. Twenty-nine members did not vote, including nine Republicans.

All Georgia Republicans and Democratic Congressman John Barrow supported the measure. The rest of the Democrats from the state opposed it.


  1. Romegaguy says:

    Oh the irony of having Kingston be the one to “lead” the fight against earmarks. Of course if he was really a leader on this subject he wouldnt ask for any earmarks regardless of what happens with the legislation or with the special committee…

  2. I Am Jacks Post says:

    Agreed. The irony of Kingston taking on earmarks is quite rich. Fox and the hen house and such. And notice, he’s pushing an earmark study committee. What the crap is that? How about you step up and swear off earmarks altogether. Now that would be something.

    Kingston is no reformer. And this is PR crap.

  3. Bull Moose says:

    Despite the irony, and I get that part, better late than never I guess.

    Though, I doubt it will go anywhere as there aren’t any Democratic co-sponsors to the bill and this will likely fall along party lines.

  4. Bull Moose says:

    I know that, for example, in transportation projects, earmarked projects receive funding from the already allocated funds and not additional funds. So when a Member of Congress puts in an earmark, that particular project is funded, while other projects and priorities set by local jurisdictions, are not funded.

    The entire earmark process is bad and in my opinion, reflects the lazieness of today’s Congress. Earmarks are just a lazy way around transforming policy.

  5. jeffgator says:

    Earmarks account for what, 3-4% of the washington spending?

    These guys are a joke out there grandstanding about earmarks.

    Meanwhile the money truck pulls around to the back door and loads up 60-70% of the budget on entitlement programs.

    Why does this remind me of the guy who yells – hey look over there!!! And while you glance away, he grabs your wallet.

  6. AlanR says:

    I don’t think any further study is required:

    Back in 1987, when Mr. Reagan applied his veto to what was generally known at the time as the highway and mass transit bill, he was offended by the 152 earmarks for pet projects favored by members of Congress. But on Wednesday Mr. Bush signed a transportation bill containing no fewer than 6,371 earmarks. . . .

    Editorial, “Big-Government Conservatives,” Washington Post, August 15, 2005

  7. Dave Bearse says:

    Legislators may know good uses of federal funds outside of established programs and departmental allocations. The effort and time spent on earmarks is excessive, and refusal to participate is damaging those that disdain the associated gamesmanship or disdain it on principle. Why not eliminate all earmarks except for $10,000,000 (or some smaller amount) allocated to each member of Congress to earmark?

    The half billion cost would amount to less than 2% of the federal budget and significantly reduce the dollar value of earmarks. Legislators would have time to devote to more substantive manners, seniority/party leadership dynamics would change, and the manner in which legislators allocate their earmarks (or not allocate them) be revealing.

    Likewise why not prohibit earmarks in Georgia except to allow General Assembly members say $500,000 each in earmarks, about 1/2% of the state budget?

  8. drjay says:

    most of the earmarks that have come to ga have been for important and justifiable projects–its the ones that seem like quid pro quo’s or silly wastes of money that need to go–i am not opposed to reforming the system–but not sure we should throw the baby out w/ the bath water…

  9. Redcatcher says:

    How about a moratorium on all entitlement programs? Kingston is playing a game. He wants to insure his relection to the most ECCW (Exclusive County Club in the World)
    better know as the US Congress.

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