House Minority Leader John Boehner and his colleagues in the Republican leadership gave Speaker Nancy Pelosi a deadline of Feb. 1 to respond to their request for an immediate moratorium on earmarks. The date came and went without a word from Pelosi or her Democrat colleagues. But don’t expect to hear the end of it just yet.
Boehner released a statement today attacking Pelosi for failing to take a stand against wasteful pork-barrel spending, which he said has become a “symbol of a broken Washington.” He said Pelosi could shut down the earmarking process overnight in her role as speaker. By failing to respond to the GOP’s request, however, Boehner said Republicans would resort to other tactics to halt earmarking.
House Republicans will use every means available to force votes on this issue until the earmark process is brought to an immediate halt. American families are fed up with seeing their hard-earned tax dollars squandered by Washington politicians, particularly at a time when the middle-class is being squeezed by the rising cost of living.
Washington is broken. Fundamental change will only begin when the earmarks stop and both parties come together to identify ways to permanently change the way in which Washington spends taxpayers’ money. House Republicans will challenge Congress to make this change.
Boehner received immediate support from conservative Rep. Jeb Hensarling, chairman of the Republican Study Committee. Hensarling chided House Democrats for failing to act on earmarks.
When it comes to earmarks, Democrats act like a pig that eats from two troughs. They failed to live up to promises to cut the number of taxpayer funded earmarks in half. Democrats broke promises to bring greater transparency to the process and instead attempted to keep earmarks hidden from the view of the taxpayers who fund them. Not to be outdone by her caucus, Speaker Pelosi tells reporters that she’d personally get rid of all earmarks while remaining one of the largest earmarkers in the House – and that is saying something.
The American people see earmarks as the poster children of fiscal irresponsibility, the kissing cousin to unethical behavior, and an all too frequent enabler of unlawful acts. The emerging pattern of campaign donations coming in one door and taxpayer funded earmarks going out of the other has further corrupted the process.
Pelosi’s failure to respond to Boehner’s challenge is certainly disconcerting to taxpayers, who are fed up with Washington’s wasteful ways. It’s a harsh reality that even though some lawmakers finally appear committed to doing something about earmarks, there’s a long way to go to convince most members of Congress.