Sunday, December 13, 2009

Blog 15

Limit Earmark Spending

The congress members, while working on bills in committee have often found an easy route to garnering money and jobs to their home district. Earmarks, also called home-state projects are amendments added to a particular bill by congress members that sends money to specific projects.  Usually these projects benefit the member’s home district, by providing money and jobs.  However, many congress members use these earmarks to reward campaign contributors and supporters.  Democrats and Republicans alike have tried to cut back on the number of earmarks in the spending bills, bills that deal with “transportation, justice, foreign, labor, health, education and veterans programs” (New York Times). 

However, there is over $4 billion dollars worth of earmarks in the recent spending bill that was just passed by the Senate.  Republican senators were reluctant to pass the recent spending bill; however, there was a measure passed that closed debate on this bill because the Health Care Bill is taking precedent. Senator John McCain has been the most vocal critic of earmarks in the Senate, he proposed an amendment in March of this year, which would get rid of the earmarks on an important Senate spending bill.  He was defeat in a 63 to 32 vote.

Earmarks bypass the important government agencies which are supposes to allocate the money appropriated to them by Congress.  As experts in their given spheres, these agencies should decide where the money should go.  Congress members use earmarks as tools to get reelected, they go back to their constituents and brag about all the wonderful, job-bringing projects that I have brought back to the District X.  Federal money should be misappropriated in this way.  These congress members who have enough power to create large earmarks are stealing money from the government agencies that know where the money actually needs to go.  

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