04.02.2012 1

Are House Republicans considering lifting the ban on earmarks?

Our National DebtBy Bill Wilson — It is disappointing that within a mere 14 months into the House Republican majority, they appear to be giving up on the principles that got them elected in 2010. Rep. Mike Rogers has openly called for abandoning reforms to the appropriations process by potentially lifting the ban on earmarks.

This is being proposed as a legislative sweetener so leadership has an easier time passing things like the transportation appropriations bill. This is an open acknowledgement that earmarks are nothing more than legislative bribery to buy votes. But what it represents is a further repudiation by leadership of the principles that got them into power in the first place. In 2010, Republicans pledged to ‘put us on a path to balance the budget and pay down the debt.’

This trial balloon comes atop a minority of the House Republicans defeating a Republican Study Committee fiscal plan last week that would have balanced the budget in five years. It comes atop failures to enact significant reforms in the continuing resolution and debt ceiling debates. And the failure of the Supercommittee to achieve anything meaningful.

Congress’ historically low approval rating is a warning that the American people will only put up with so much. House Republicans need to reconnect with the American people, and reject without delay Rep. Rogers’ earmark trial balloon.

Bill Wilson is the President of Americans for Limited Government. You can follow him on Twitter at @BillWilsonALG.

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