Citizens Against Government Waste Blasts House Democrats’ Plan to Revive Earmarks

For Immediate Release
Contact: Curtis Kalin 202-467-5318

September 12, 2018
 

(Washington, D.C.) – Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) President Tom Schatz issued the following statement excoriating House Democrats after Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) announced that reviving pork-barrel earmarks would be part of their “government overhaul package,” should they win a majority in the midterm elections:

“The proposed revival of earmarks could not be more antithetical to anything resembling government reform.  This scheme is all taxpayers need to know about the Democrats’ warped legislative priorities.  Earmarks are nothing more than legalized, taxpayer-funded bribery.  They are corrupt, inequitable, and wasteful.  Whip Hoyer’s proposal stands in stark contrast to the sordid history of the practice.

“Since 1991, CAGW’s annual Congressional Pig Book has exposed 110,861 earmarks costing $344.5 billion.  Members of Congress and lobbyists went to jail due to earmarks, including Reps. Randy ‘Duke’ Cunningham (R-Calif.) and Bob Ney (R-Ohio). 

“The distribution of earmarks skews heavily toward those in power.  In the 111th Congress, when the names of members who requested earmarks were included in spending bills, House and Senate appropriators, who constituted 15 percent of Congress, pocketed 61 percent of the earmarks and 51 percent of the money. 

“Earmarks are a lazy and unfair way to circumvent the appropriations process.  They have been roundly excoriated by the American people, who have made it clear that they want an end to business as usual in Washington.  Earmarks for teapot museums, indoor rainforests, and bridges to nowhere should not be restored; they should be permanently banned.”

Citizens Against Government Waste is the nation's largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. 

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