Like Countable?

Install the App
TRY NOW

senate Bill S. 2330

Should Earmarks Be Permanently Banned?

Argument in favor

Earmarks promote corruption by allowing lawmakers to waste taxpayer money on projects that don’t serve the public good and instead serve their political or personal interests. They’ve gotten members of Congress in legal trouble in the past, so the ban on earmarks should be permanent.

SneakyPete's Opinion
···
12/26/2018
Yes. Yes to the Senate bill S.2330 the Earmark Elimination Act of 2018 I’m I support of the Senate bill S. 233 AKA the Earmark Elimination Act of 2018 — would establish a point of order in the Senate against considering legislation that includes an earmark. This would make the temporary moratorium on congressional earmarks put into effect in 2010 permanent. Earmarks promote corruption by allowing lawmakers to waste taxpayer money on projects that don’t serve the public good and instead serve their political or personal interests. They’ve gotten members of Congress in legal trouble in the past, so the ban on earmarks should be permanent. SneakyPete..... 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻. 12*26*18....
Like (56)
Follow
Share
Lionman's Opinion
···
12/26/2018
Earmarks were never a good idea, they junk up and muddy the waters when it comes to dealing with issues on a bill. It needs to be clear cut and straightforward when it comes to legislation.
Like (45)
Follow
Share
Hillary's Opinion
···
12/26/2018
There should be no need for anything to sweeten deals because there should be none of that “I’ll scratch your back and you scratch mine” dealing going on. A project is either necessary or it is not. Legislators have long used federal money to employ workers in their home state for big projects like roads or bridges to nowhere. That must stop. If this country is to remain ONE country then state A can no longer try to swipe money from states B, C, and D in a deal backed by state E! Every legislator from every state must work together for the good of every citizen regardless of the state they live in.
Like (26)
Follow
Share

Argument opposed

Earmarks help facilitate deal-making in government, which helps lawmakers get legislation passed. They also help lawmakers from smaller or more rural districts bring needed money to their districts. As long as there is proper oversight earmarks help more than hurt.

Carl's Opinion
···
12/26/2018
Unfortunately, earmarks are the vehicle in which things get accomplished en masse. Without earmarks even less public business will get finished.
Like (36)
Follow
Share
murf's Opinion
···
12/26/2018
Earmarks are a tool to help gain compromise. As long as it’s done in the open, there is no problem. It’s the grease that keeps the wheels of progress moving forward. There perhaps should be a max value set for earmarks, for instance no more than 1% of an appropriations bill.
Like (23)
Follow
Share
George's Opinion
···
12/26/2018
Some look down on this practice but imbedded in bipartisanship is the ability to compromise. Since the elimination of earmarks gridlock has become worse because there is no leverage between parties or regions to advance improvements and therefore nothing gets done. For every “bridge to nowhere” there were hundreds of worthwhile improvements to constituents everyday lives.
Like (14)
Follow
Share

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Rules and Administration
    IntroducedJanuary 23rd, 2018

What is Senate Bill S. 2330?

This bill — the Earmark Elimination Act of 2018 — would establish a point of order in the Senate against considering legislation that includes an earmark. This would make the temporary moratorium on congressional earmarks put into effect in 2010 permanent.

Under the bill, an "earmark" would be defined as a congressionally directed spending item, tax benefit, or tariff benefit targeted to a specific recipient or group of beneficiaries. The point of order may be waived by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the Members of the Senate, duly chosen and sworn. If the point of order is successfully raised and sustained, the earmark shall be stricken from the legislation.

Impact

Earmarks; appropriations; senators; and the Senate.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 2330

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) introduced this bill to ensure that earmarks remain banned in Congress:

“It’s time to stick a fork in congressional pork with a permanent ban on earmarking. Republicans were beaten like a borrowed mule in the 2006 elections largely because of the corruption associated with earmarks. Let’s not test the voters again by leaving the door open for a return to the pork barrel politics that sent members of Congress to prison and saddled taxpayers with a bridge to nowhere, a teapot museum, and countless other wasteful pet projects.”

Cosponsor Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) adds that banning earmarks protects taxpayers’ dollars and ensures that projects are prioritized on merit:

“Earmarks are the Washington swamp creature that just never seems to die—emerging from the lower depths every few years in an effort to waste taxpayer dollars on politicians’ pet projects. Our bipartisan bill would ban their return by permanently ending the practice of pork-barrel patronage so we can ensure…  taxpayer dollars are protected from waste, and projects are prioritized on merit."

FreedomWorks supports this bill, as it believes earmarks lead to corruption and runaway government spending. Adam Brandon, President of FreedomWorks, says:

“Earmarks, called by then-Rep. Flake in 2006 as the 'currency of corruption,' are specific line items in a spending bill, such as an appropriations or transportation bill, for a project or program. Not only corruptive in nature, they are also, as then-Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) astutely put it, 'the gateway drug to spending addiction.' Two things that Washington does not need is more corruption and more spending… At their peak in the mid 2000s, total earmarks reached nearly 14,000 in a single year (2005), costing upwards of $30 billion (2006). Proponents of earmarks argue that these extra spending provisions funding often-useless projects 'grease the wheels' for legislation by persuading individual members to come on board for the sake of earmarked spending for their districts, and come at a small monetary price to taxpayers. They refuse to acknowledge the corruption and spending addiction that comes with earmarks, not to mention the public opposition to the pernicious practice.”

In a January 9, 2018 policy meeting at the White House, President Donald Trump suggested that Congress should start thinking about going back to a form of earmarks:

“Our system lends itself to not getting things done, and I hear so much about earmarks — the old earmark system — how there was a great friendliness when you had earmarks. Of course, they had other problems with earmarks. But maybe all of you should start thinking about going back to a form of earmarks… You should do it, and I’m there with you, because this system really lends itself to not getting along. It lends itself to hostility and anger, and they hate the Republicans. And they hate the Democrats. And in the old days of earmarks, you can say what you want about certain Presidents and others, where they all talk about they went out to dinner at night and they all got along, and they passed bills. That was an earmark system, and maybe we should think about it.”

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), who is poised to become House majority leader when the new Congress convenes in January 2019, supports earmarks. Early in 2019, he testified to the House Rules Committee that he’d support reinstating earmarks, as long as certain conditions to ensure their responsible use were met. In December 2018, Rep. Hoyer reiterated his position, stating that he expects bipartisan support for a return to earmarks:

“To say that a member of Congress is unable to help his or her own district I think is incorrect. We are co-equal branches — that is our authority under the Constitution. We don’t have to go hat in hand to the president and say, please, will you spend money on this, that, or the other?”

Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), the incoming chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, made a return to earmarking one of her key pledges to colleagues when she sought their support to lead the Appropriations Committee in the new Congress:

“I will work tirelessly to ensure spending bills help address local issues in members’ districts... The caucus should also review procedures and work with the Senate to determine the most effective way to carry out our constitutional responsibilities through congressionally directed spending.”

Jonathan Rauch, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, argues that the demonization of earmarks is a mistake for politics as the art of dealmaking:

“The whole focus on bashing earmarks has been a big mistake. Politics is about making deals, and making deals is difficult and complicated. Votes sometimes put [members] in trouble in their home districts. It’s very helpful to offer them some protection in the form of an earmark.”

In January 2018, a House Rules Committee hearing on earmarks’ potential return brought proponents from both sides of the aisle who praised earmarks as a dealmaking tool.

Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) says that in the lead up to the new Congress taking over in January 2019, he hasn’t heard a groundswell within the Senate GOP conference about reviving earmarks, and he thinks it would be a bad move: “I’ve learned up here that sometimes you got to keep a closed mouth and open ears, and I’m willing to listen, but the burden of proof is on them because I’ve never seen earmarks work.” However, Sen. Kennedy added, he wasn’t surprised the House Democrats want to restore earmarks, as “they [Democrats] like to spend money like it was ditchwater.”

There’s also a Democratic argument to be made in favor of earmarks, in that representatives for poor areas need earmarks to make up for their constituents’ lack of ability to compete in terms of campaign donations or lobbying power. Advocates for earmarks argue that they also create opportunities to fund neglected services or projects outside D.C.

There’s a House bill, the Pulled Pork Act (HR 4818), introduced by Rep. Jacky Rosen (R-NV), that also bans earmarks. Unlike this bill, which bans the Senate from considering legislation with earmarks, the House bill puts the onus on federal agencies to identify earmarked funds allocated to them by Congress and report those earmarks to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which would publish a list of attempted earmarks and the annual savings resulting from the inability to spend those funds. Any improperly earmarked funds would be returned from the receiving agencies to the Treasury.

Sen. Flake introduced a House version of this bill, H.R. 3707, in 2011, when he was then a member of the House. That bill would have permanently eliminated earmarks from the legislative process by: 1) prohibiting the House from considering legislation containing earmarks and 2) stripping earmarks in legislation being considered by the House before it could proceed. That bill, which attracted the bipartisan support of one Democrat and one Republican, died in committee without a vote.


Of NoteEarmarks — a type of spending going specifically to one project or district — drew the American public’s ire as an example of congressional cronyism in the early to mid 2000s. The most infamous example was Rep. Don Young (R-AK)’s “Bridge to Nowhere,” which cost $223 million in taxpayer dollars to build a bridge to an island of only 50 residents that was already served by a ferry.

Members of Congress have also gotten into legal trouble over earmarks: In 2006, Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham (R-CA) was convicted and sent to prison for seven years after taking at least $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors in exchange for steering earmarks to their companies.

Earmarks were temporarily banned in November 2010, about two weeks after Republicans won back the House majority, and took effect in January 2011. The change was made through an internal decision of the House Republican Conference, rather than a bill receiving a vote on the Congress floor. Since 2011, the temporary earmark ban has been extended several times in both the House and Senate.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / malerapaso)

AKA

Earmark Elimination Act of 2018

Official Title

A bill to prohibit earmarks.

    Yes. Yes to the Senate bill S.2330 the Earmark Elimination Act of 2018 I’m I support of the Senate bill S. 233 AKA the Earmark Elimination Act of 2018 — would establish a point of order in the Senate against considering legislation that includes an earmark. This would make the temporary moratorium on congressional earmarks put into effect in 2010 permanent. Earmarks promote corruption by allowing lawmakers to waste taxpayer money on projects that don’t serve the public good and instead serve their political or personal interests. They’ve gotten members of Congress in legal trouble in the past, so the ban on earmarks should be permanent. SneakyPete..... 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻. 12*26*18....
    Like (56)
    Follow
    Share
    Unfortunately, earmarks are the vehicle in which things get accomplished en masse. Without earmarks even less public business will get finished.
    Like (36)
    Follow
    Share
    Earmarks were never a good idea, they junk up and muddy the waters when it comes to dealing with issues on a bill. It needs to be clear cut and straightforward when it comes to legislation.
    Like (45)
    Follow
    Share
    There should be no need for anything to sweeten deals because there should be none of that “I’ll scratch your back and you scratch mine” dealing going on. A project is either necessary or it is not. Legislators have long used federal money to employ workers in their home state for big projects like roads or bridges to nowhere. That must stop. If this country is to remain ONE country then state A can no longer try to swipe money from states B, C, and D in a deal backed by state E! Every legislator from every state must work together for the good of every citizen regardless of the state they live in.
    Like (26)
    Follow
    Share
    In the past, earmarking led to terrible problems like corruption, diverting of funds, the famous “bridge to nowhere”. We cannot go back to a system like that, we are not even in a place to be spending money left and right like that. Be smart about where fund are allocated.
    Like (23)
    Follow
    Share
    Earmarks are a tool to help gain compromise. As long as it’s done in the open, there is no problem. It’s the grease that keeps the wheels of progress moving forward. There perhaps should be a max value set for earmarks, for instance no more than 1% of an appropriations bill.
    Like (23)
    Follow
    Share
    Earmarks = payoffs by Congressional members is actually very problematic and antithesis to our American policies...
    Like (22)
    Follow
    Share
    Permanently ban earmarks. They are a really bad idea. More wasteful spending is what earmarks are.
    Like (21)
    Follow
    Share
    Stop stuffing your pork into other bills. Get a separate bill for your pet project. Separate bills for everything so that our legislative branch can grind to a halt like the founders intended. The point of the Constitution was to make it as difficult as possible for any governance to get done.
    Like (17)
    Follow
    Share
    Some look down on this practice but imbedded in bipartisanship is the ability to compromise. Since the elimination of earmarks gridlock has become worse because there is no leverage between parties or regions to advance improvements and therefore nothing gets done. For every “bridge to nowhere” there were hundreds of worthwhile improvements to constituents everyday lives.
    Like (14)
    Follow
    Share
    Favorable benefits doled out by a legislator to his/her select constituents is akin to buying votes or seducing large campaign contributions in quid pro quo deals! These sorts of questionable or even corrupt practices must be prohibited.
    Like (13)
    Follow
    Share
    No. I recommend we not ban earmarks until right after we ban lobbyists. Neither will ever happen so let’s move on to the important business of reopening our government.
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    Corruption in politics is so rampant in Washington DC that something should be done to help stem the growth of lawlessness. Audit the US federal government and show the american people the results of the audit. We can hear the truth and uncover what is hidden. Investigate the whole bloody mess. Both the democrat party and the republican party and the independents too all of them. That would be money well spent.
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    It’s definitely a sneaky way to fund programs of welfare and nonsense programs, do we really need to study things like how many times a democrat craps its pants between the hours of 02:00-03:00 while listening to an audio of the constitution. A bit of sarcasm. They do have a lot of just silly programs to study like this and they are often attached to Bill since he stopped, no two bills should be attached. Everything should be voted on and debated separately. Something that would correct this and quickly would be term limits on everyone in all of government. No more career politicians.
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    Earmarks were never a good idea, they junk up and muddy the waters when it comes to dealing with issues on a bill. It needs to be clear cut and straightforward when it comes to legislation.
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    Earmarks are for crooks that revert to devious ways to bribe each other. STOP EARMARKS.
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    Absolutely!
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    One bill, one vote, enough of mixing bills together. This practice makes it harder to pass bills that all Americans want passed, like DACA which they GOP (greedy old pricks) keep trying to attach to boarder security.
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    Keep working to stop corruption!!!Our National leaders should lead by example. Show Trump how life is supposed to be.
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    Heck yes
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    MORE