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NTU Supports Rep. Bob Goodlatte's H. Res. 1289 Earmark Ban!
April 29, 2010
The Honorable Bob Goodlatte
Dear Representative Goodlatte:
On behalf of the 362,000 members of the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), I write to offer our support for your legislation, H. Res. 1289. This measure would express the sense of the House that Democratic Members should join Republican Members in a total ban on earmarks for one year. Additionally, this legislation calls upon the House to reduce total discretionary spending by the amount saved due to earmark moratoriums. It also would create a bipartisan, bicameral committee with the purpose of reviewing and overhauling budgetary, spending, and earmark processes.
Even though NTU and its allies have made substantial progress toward reform, it appears that lawmakers continue to view earmarking as a sort of taxpayer-funded, political piggy bank. The most recent example can be found in H.R. 3288, the appropriations omnibus package, which passed at the end of 2009 with more than 5,000 special interest projects worth some $3.8 billion. Earmarks pave the way for government expansion while also serving to further undermine Americans' deteriorating trust in the leaders who serve them. The time has come to suspend the practice of earmarking entirely.
In our view, a permanent ban would be desirable, but House Republicans took a significant step toward achieving true earmark reform by enacting a one-year moratorium. It is time for Democrats to more fully join their efforts and remove the pork-laden politics that burden our legislative process.
We also commend your resolution's efforts to reduce total discretionary spending by the amount saved from the earmark ban. All too often, spending cuts in some areas serve merely to disguise spending increases and tax hikes in other areas. H. Res. 1289 would end this charade and begin to pay back the debt we have heaped upon our children and grandchildren for generations to come.
Thank you for your leadership on this issue. We wholeheartedly endorse your resolution and will include any roll call votes related to the bill in our annual Rating of Congress.