Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Big News: Dem Rep. Waxman swears off earmarks


After careful consideration I have decided that I will not request funding through the earmark process in the FY 20009 appropriations cycle.

We have a problem in Congress. Congressional spending through earmarks is out of control. When I was first elected to Congress in the 1970s, it wasn't unusual for an appropriations bill to be either completely free of earmarks or have just a few dozen special projects. That slowly changed, and by 1995 there were nearly 3,000 earmarks in that year's appropriations bills.

By 2005 the number of earmarks -- and the billions of dollars devoted to them -- had skyrocketed. The Congressional Research Service counted more than 15,800 earmarks in the 13 appropriations bills for fiscal year 2005 at a cost of over $27 billion. At the same time funding for some of our nation's most basic needs was being shortchanged.