CAGW Names Rep. Mike Rogers Porker of the Month

For Immediate Release
April 30, 2012

 

Contact:  Leslie K. Paige 202-467-5334 Luke Gelber 202-467-5318

CAGW Names Rep. Mike Rogers Porker of the Month

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) named Representative Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) its April 2012 Porker of the Month for recommending that lawmakers bring back earmarks. Rep. Rogers made the suggestion in a closed-door Republican Caucus meeting on March 30, 2012. Afterwards, Rep. Rogers stated that he “was mad because [members] were talking about how we can’t get 218 votes,” adding that “There was a lot of applause when I made my comments … By and large it was very well embraced.” The House and Senate are operating under an earmark moratorium that was agreed to at the beginning of the 112th Congress.

Rep. Rogers is hardly the first member to yearn publicly for the reinstatement of earmarks, but his claim that there was support for his position among House Republicans and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) may be considering a study of earmark reforms has raised the debate to a new and chilling level. Visions of bridges to nowhere and teapot museums are dancing in the taxpayers’ heads, which could help remind them that pork has traditionally been one of the few areas of bipartisan agreement in past years and eliminate one of the advantages that Republicans have had over Democrats. “Rep. Rogers’ contention that earmarks are essential to pass legislation is exactly how Republicans got in trouble after they took over the majority in 1994,” said CAGW President Tom Schatz. “Earmarks exploded from $7.8 billion in 1994 to $29 billion in 2006, when Republicans lost the majority.

On a positive note, the congressman’s comments were reportedly met with jeers by freshmen Republicans, who helped regain the majority in the House in large part due to their vocal opposition to excessive spending and earmarks. Any talk of earmark ‘reform’ will be viewed by taxpayers as abandoning those principles.”

A larger problem for Rep. Rogers and the entire Congress is that the earmark moratorium has not worked as advertised. On April 17, CAGW will roll out the 2012 Congressional Pig Book, which will demonstrate that earmarks have slipped into the appropriations bills. “Rep. Rogers and others who are calling for an earmark revival are swimming against the tide,” added Schatz. “Taxpayers continue to support the moratorium, and would be even happier with a permanent ban on earmarks.

For becoming the latest in what will surely be a long line of squeaky wheels squealing for more grease, Representative Mike Rogers is CAGW’s April 2012 Porker of the Month.

CAGW is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers.

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