House Republicans Approve Earmark Ban

By Jove, it looks like Republicans have started to remember that they’re supposed to be fiscally conservative! Republicans in the House have approved a memorandum on spending earmarks.

From Politico:

House Republicans on Thursday agreed to forgo earmarks in all 2011 spending bills, a broad measure meant to show a willingness to clean up Washington and rein in federal spending.

The measure passed by a voice vote after a two-hour marathon session behind closed doors in a conference room in the Capitol Visitors Center. Even the top Republican on the Appropriations Committee, Jerry Lewis of California, offered his support of the measure.

The article does point out a very important thing, however:

Republicans, while trying to claim the mantle of ethics and fiscal responsibility, have historically been some of the most prolific earmarkers.

And this is why the Tea Party has been targeting Republicans as well.

Kathleen McKinley at Right Wing News reports on the comments of the Chairman of the House Republican Committee:

“By standing in favor of a moratorium on earmarks in this Congress, House Republicans are making a clean break from the past. We are offering the American people a fresh start on spending in Washington, D.C. We are offering the American people a new way forward. With the health care reform bill being debated and haggled about in these very hallways, no doubt earmarks are being talked about in a different way by the Democrat Majority. After the ‘Cornhusker Kickback,’ the ‘Gatorade Deal,’ the ‘Second Louisiana Purchase,’ the American people want us to change business as usual in Washington D.C.

You’re damned straight that the American people want you to change the way you do business. And it would be a clean break, since the Republicans haven’t been any better on spending than Democrats have.

Lori Ziganto at Red State has this to say:

This is a step in the right direction at curbing spending. You have to start somewhere and pork-barrel spending is a good place to start. While the numbers involved aren’t huge, in relation to total spending, at the very least it means that the GOP is listening and starting to take heed.

And it is a good sign. The Republicans are at least listening to the American people, and they’re at least making a gesture to that effect. If they don’t follow through with the earmark ban, it will cost them dearly, but if they can stick to it as a matter of principle, then the Republicans will easily come out on top, especially since the Democrats are responding to calls to halt spending with condescention.


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