For Immediate Release
January 28th, 2008
Contact: Wesley Denton (202) 224-6121
PRESIDENT, CONGRESS ALLOW EARMARKS TO CONTINUE AS USUAL
Says Tough Choices Are Needed to Cut Wasteful Spending
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) responded to reports that President Bush has decided to accept over 10,000 wasteful pork barrel earmarks for Fiscal Year 2008 when he had the authority to stop them. Senator DeMint made the following statement:”I’m disappointed the President missed this historic opportunity to stop thousands of wasteful earmarks under pressure from big spenders in Congress.”
“The President was right last year to call on Congress to stop putting earmarks in secret reports, but the Democrat Congress ignored him and now the President is going to let them get away with it. The proposed executive order will only stop secret earmarks in future bills, but it protects over 10,000 non-binding earmarks requested for this year.
“Earmarks exploded under Republican watch but Democrats proved last year they like the earmark favor factory just as much. In fact, they broke their own promise to cut earmarks in half. This is a bipartisan earmark addiction and the President should have taken the bottle away. Instead, he chose to accept another round of earmarks and give lawmakers another round of drinks.
“Americans are fed up with the corruption and waste in Washington and no issue better symbolizes the decay than earmarks. Congressmen are in jail today for taking bribes for earmarks yet Congress and this President are allowing thousands of special interest projects this year for bike paths, museums, baseball parks, and golf charities while our economic growth is slowing.
“Congress continues to fail to make the tough choices our country needs. It keeps adding new spending but never cut the waste.
“I am glad the President is pledging once again to veto spending bills that don’t cut earmarks in half, but it may be too late since Congress may not send him many spending bills this year. I am also glad the President is going to stop future earmarks that are not written in our bills, but delaying action could give big spenders time to find ways to get around his rule.
“Washington is broken and the Democratic Congress has broken its promise to fix it. President Bush has taken some modest steps toward reform, but it will take bold action by Republicans to end the congressional favor factory and restore trust with the American people.”