Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) stated on November 15, 2010:
“…today I am announcing that I will join the Republican Leadership in the House in support of a moratorium on earmarks in the 112th Congress…”
Seems this senator can’t quite make up his mind. A week ago [November 7, 2010] Senator McConnell appeared on Face the Nation and Bob Schieffer asked him specifically whether he would be for or against a moratorium on earmarks and McConnell’s response was that earmarks don’t save any money.
What are earmarks? The Office of Management and Budget defines earmarks as
“funds provided by the Congress for projects, programs, or grants where the purported congressional direction (whether in statutory text, report language, or other communication) circumvents otherwise applicable merit-based or competitive allocation processes, or specifies the location or recipient, or otherwise curtails the ability of the executive branch to manage its statutory and constitutional responsibilities pertaining to the funds allocation process.”
Earmarks represent approximately 1% of the U.S. Budget and eliminating all earmarks simply is not going to save the amount of money this government needs to be saving. For example, according to the Office of Management and Budget, 2008 appropriated earmarks were $16.6 billion, in 2009 the number decreased to $15.3 billion, which is a far cry from the $700 billion it will cost to extend the Jobs & Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003, put in place by the Bush administration. These tax cuts have been in place since 2003 and are scheduled to expire at midnight on December 31, 2010.
- FY 2010 Appropriations Earmarks
- FY 2009 Appropriations Earmarks
- FY 2008 Appropriations Earmarks
- FY 2005 Appropriations Earmarks
- FY 2005 Authorization Earmarks