Conservative Coalition Demands Transparency in Earmark Debate

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

January 26, 2018
 

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW), along with 20 other leading conservative organizations, sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan, urging him to make public any vote to alter or abolish the House’s current moratorium on earmarks.  

The letter reads, in part: 

“On behalf of the undersigned organizations and our millions of members, we appreciate your leadership in bringing the debate over earmarks into the open after the attempt to modify the earmark moratorium in the Republican Conference on November 16, 2016.

“Following that meeting, you were quoted by sources in the room that you wanted a “more thorough process to look at this issue” and that it was not appropriate to reinstitute earmarks in a secret-ballot process.

“We agree that any modification of the earmark moratorium or any legislation related to earmarks must be done through a recorded, public vote, and urge you to reiterate your commitment to this process.

“We understand that if a vote for the return of earmarks takes place outside of the legislative process, it could be behind closed doors in a Republican Conference meeting, or possibly at the Republican retreat on January 31-February 2.  Those who call for reviving earmarks claim that they will be more transparent and accountable than in the past.  If that is the case, a secret vote gives little confidence to taxpayers that a new earmark regime would be above board.

“We do not support a restoration of earmarks in any way and continue to advocate for a permanent earmark ban.  But, if a vote to restore earmarks were to take place, we respectfully urge you to ensure that the vote tally is made public, so that the American people can know who decided to bring back bridges to nowhere, indoor rainforests, and teapot museums.”

The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste is the lobbying arm of Citizens Against Government Waste, the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.

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