CCAGW to House Republican Conference: Sign Earmark Pledge

July 11, 2017

U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C.  20515

Dear Representative,

On behalf of the more than one million members and supporters of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW), I am writing to urge you to sign the attached No Earmarks Pledge.  The pledge asks members of Congress to not request any earmarks, support the extension of the earmark moratorium, and support a permanent ban on earmarks. 

Regardless of what they are called or how they are justified, earmarks are nothing more than self-serving, corruptive, pork-barrel projects.  Earmarks negatively impact agency priorities by rewarding special interests and are costly to taxpayers.

Since 1991, Congress has approved 110,442 earmarks with a price tag of $323.1 billion.  At a time when the national debt is nearly $20 trillion, the nation cannot afford to waste money on a single pork-barrel project.  Taxpayer dollars should be awarded on the basis of merit, not political power.  As Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said in 2014:  “The problem with all their arguments is:  the more powerful you are, the more likely you get the earmark in.  Therefore, it is a corrupt system.”

One of the arguments used by earmark proponents is Congress’s power to spend under Article 1 of the Constitution.  That authority is undeniable; however, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, who disagreed on many issues, agreed that this power is limited and should not be used for local or regional benefit.  President James Monroe concurred with them when he said that federal expenditures should be limited “to great national works only, since if it were unlimited it would be liable to abuse and might be productive of evil.”

I urge you to sign the No Earmarks Pledge to demonstrate your commitment to protecting taxpayer dollars and eliminating this corruptive and wasteful process.  Your signature would be appreciated as soon as possible.  To assist you in this regard, please contact Rachel Cole (rcole@cagw.org) no later than July 17, 2017.  

Sincerely, 

Tom Schatz
President, CCAGW

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