Citizens Against Government Waste Launches #EarmarkOfTheDay

For Immediate Release Contact: Curtis Kalin 202-467-5318
January 9, 2017  

(Washington, D.C.) – As some misguided members of Congress clamor to resurrect one of the most corrupt and wasteful practices in history, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today began the Earmark of the Day social media campaign to remind Washington of the sordid history of pork-barrel earmarks.  Every day, CAGW’s Facebook and Twitter accounts will feature a different earmarked project from the “Pork Hall of Shame.”

According to CAGW’s seven-point criteria, pork-barrel projects are funded for a specific purpose in circumvention of normal budget procedures.  Since 1991, Congress has approved 110,442 earmarks costing taxpayers $323.1 billion. 

The earmark era was marred by high-profile boondoggles such as the $223 million Bridge to Nowhere in Alaska, and a decade of scandals that resulted in jail terms for Reps. Randy “Duke” Cunningham (R-Calif.) and Bob Ney (R-Ohio), and lobbyist Jack Abramoff.  Unfortunately, the 2011 moratorium did not completely eliminate the insidious practice.  As documented in CAGW’s 2016 Congressional Pig Book, there were 123 earmarks worth $5.1 billion in the fiscal year 2016 appropriations bills.

CAGW President Tom Schatz said, “Restoring earmarks would not ‘drain the swamp’ in Washington, it would fill it up.  A vote to resurrect earmarks would be a repudiation of the election results on November 8.  Voters made it crystal clear that they want to end wasteful spending and change business as usual in Washington.  It would be quite foolish to reject that clear will of taxpayers.  CAGW’s Earmark of the Day campaign will shed a bright light on the wasteful and corruptive practice and is intended to dissuade any member of Congress from voting to reinstate earmarks.”

Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, mismanagement and abuse in government.

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