House Republicans made a valiant stand on earmark reform today, falling just short in their effort to institute an immediate moratorium. By a vote of 204-196, the GOP’s procedural effort failed. Just seven Democrats voted with all Republicans: Reps. Joe Donnelley (Ind.), Tim Mahoney (Fla.), Baron Hill (Ind.), Brad Ellsworth (Ind.), Nick Lampson (Tex.), Nancy Boyda (Kan.) and John Barrow (Ga.).
House Minority Leader John Boehner promised to carry on the fight.
As Speaker of the House, Rep. Pelosi has the power to shut down the entire earmark process in our chamber at any time. But she hasn’t used it. And today, her Democratic colleagues had an unprecedented opportunity to join Republicans in halting the earmark process as we know it. But they declined to take it.
All the Majority has offered is the same exaggerated claim that they have taken ‘monumental strides’ in reining in earmarks, hoping the American people forget that House Democrats reversed earmark reforms put in place by Republicans in 2006 and blocked further reforms so they could pork up last year’s spending bills.
Whip Roy Blunt said today’s vote was just the beginning of an ongoing war against earmarks.
Just because our efforts to continue working together this session were brushed away by the majority, it is in no way any indication that our efforts will meet the same fate. Today’s vote is just the beginning. Americans’ cry for reform has not fallen on deaf ears from our side of the aisle – we will fight for earmark reform until the majority will hear them crystal clear.
The moratorium Republicans want to institute was introduced by Reps. Jack Kingston of Georgia, Frank Wolf of Virginia and Zack Wamp of Tennessee and has 129 cosponsors. Following their retreat in West Virginia last month, Boehner called on Pelosi to bring the earmarking process to an immediate halt.