Rep. Jeb Hensarling, chairman of the Republican Study Committee, tonight called on the House Republican leadership team, appropriators and ranking committee members to give up earmarks as part of Minority Leader John Boehner’s pledge to impose an earmark moratorium.
Support from Hensarling gives Boehner a much-needed boost in his bid to restore integrity to the appropriations process. With the RSC headed to Baltimore later this week for its annual retreat, Hensarling will have an opportunity to pressure the most conservative members of the GOP caucus to follow suit on earmarks.
Hensarling also commented on President Bush’s executive order targeting earmarks:
When it comes to Congressional earmarks there aren’t just a few bad apples, the barrel is full of them. The American people have wised up to the fact that too often Congressional earmarks are about using their paychecks to preserve a Congressman’s or Senator’s paycheck.
I applaud the President’s commitment to veto any bill that doesn’t cut the cost and number of Congressional earmarks in half. Congress must go further. The system is broken and must be fixed to the satisfaction of the American people. To that end, I hope that Democrats will join Republicans, who last week called for a moratorium on all earmark requests.
Republicans must go further. There is no greater way to lead than by example. Within the last three months, we have seen rapid growth in the number of Members who have taken a personal earmark moratorium. To that end, I hope that senior Members of our Republican Conference — our appropriators, Committee Ranking Members, and especially Members of our Republican Leadership team — follow Leader Boehner’s example and pledge their own personal earmark moratorium until integrity is restored to the process.
UPDATE — 9:27 p.m.: Fox News covered the Republicans’ efforts on earmark reform in a segment tonight that featured Heritage’s Mike Franc as well as Sen. Jim DeMint and Boehner.