Goodlatte Introduces Earmark Process Reform Bill

On Thursday, Congressman Bob Goodlatte introduced legislation aimed at saving taxpayer money and reducing the deficit by reforming the often abused earmark process.

Goodlatte announced the introduction of his resolution, which is supported by the overwhelming majority of the Republican Conference, at a press conference held with Republican Leader John Boehner, Republican Whip Eric Cantor, Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence and Republican Vice Chairman Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

Families and small businesses all across the nation are making decisions each day about what they can and cannot afford, so Goodlatte says Congress must not be allowed to ignore these tough decisions when creating spending policies for the federal government.

The federal budget deficit is projected to exceed $1 trillion for the next two fiscal years and exceed $800 billion annually for at least the next decade. These current levels of spending are simply unsustainable.

In an effort to rein in government spending, the House Republican Conference recently adopted a party rule that instills a year-long moratorium on Members obtaining earmarks in the FY2011 appropriations process. The egregious earmark process has become emblematic of everything that is wrong with Washington spending.

“The earmark process is broken and in desperate need of reform,” says Goodlatte. “The lack of accountability, abuse and some instances corruption are widely known. I am pleased that the Republican Conference adopted a one year moratorium on earmarks. However, the simple fact is that our policy will not save the taxpayers a dime unless Democrats reduce spending by the amount saved with the Republican moratorium. Today I introduced legislation, with the support of 162 House Republicans, which will ensure the taxpayers’ hard-earned money is not squandered on wasteful government spending.”

The Goodlatte Earmark Reform Resolution calls on House Democrats to join House Republicans in a one-year moratorium on all earmarks and directs total discretionary spending to be reduced by the same amount saved by this earmark moratorium. Additionally, the resolution calls on Congress to create a bipartisan, bicameral committee to review and overhaul the budgetary, spending and earmark processes.

“Wasteful earmarks are a symbol of a broken Washington and the out-of-control-spending that is scaring the American people to death,” says Boehner. “Republicans have done our part by adopting a moratorium, now it is up to the Democrats to join us in really reforming the way Washington spends taxpayers’ money.  This resolution is a strong step in the right direction.”

As economic uncertainty continues, many are looking to the government for leadership. In these challenging economic times, it is important for government to control spending.

The federal government must work to both eliminate every cent of waste and squeeze every cent of value out of each dollar our citizens entrust to it. Congress must balance the budget and reduce the deficit and the debt by being good stewards of taxpayer money.

Goodlatte concludes, “The nation continues to face serious budgetary challenges and it is time we take control of spending instead of letting it control the Congress. I believe reforming the flawed earmark process is a critical first step to restoring fiscal responsibility and bring integrity back to our government.”

The Goodlatte Earmark Reform Legislation was referred to the House Committee on Rules.


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