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Letter


Citizen Groups Call on House Members to Support Earmark Discharge Petition, H. Res. 559

September 27, 2007

Dear Member of Congress:

On behalf of the millions of Americans represented by our respective organizations, we write in strong support of the House discharge petition (H. Res. 559) to call a vote on H. Res. 479. This resolution would ensure all earmarks are publicly disclosed and subject to challenge on the floor.

Current House rules don't provide taxpayer advocates in Congress with the means to remove wasteful earmarks that are in many non-appropriations bills. The members of our organizations want to root out wasteful earmark spending regardless of the underlying legislative vehicles.

Unfortunately, House committee chairmen are taking advantage of a loophole in H. Res. 6 that allows them to surreptitiously slip earmarks into legislation while at the same time declaring the bills are earmark free. H. Res. 479 will allow any member of Congress to challenge a suspected earmark in any bill and debate on whether the earmark reform provision in H. Res. 6 has been infringed.

Many Members of Congress campaigned in 2006 on a theme of fiscal responsibility. We applaud their stated commitment, but we now expect them to support H. Res. 559 and H. Res. 479 as part of fulfilling that pledge.

Of course, challenges to pork-barrel spending on the House floor are most valuable to taxpayers when they are successful. We are truly grateful to those Members who voted for amendments to strip wasteful spending out of the Fiscal Year 2008 appropriations bills and we hope more will join them when the opportunity to challenge all earmarks in all bills becomes reality.

Sincerely,

John Berthoud
President
National Taxpayers Union

Matt Kibbe
President
FreedomWorks

Tim Phillips
President
Americans for Prosperity

Thomas Schatz
President
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

Pat Toomey
President
Club for Growth

Ryan Alexander
President
Taxpayers for Common Sense Action