U.S. Senators Disagree On Earmarks

Tim Johnson opposing suspending earmarks is no surprise, neither is having John Thune supporting the ban.  per Keloland reports

But Republican Sen. John Thune says he supports a two-year moratorium on earmarks so the system can be reformed. Thune says South Dakota projects can be funded in the normal budget process.  Thune says the public wants the earmark system to be reformed as part of the effort to cut federal spending.

Read it here

Reformed? Really?  How about getting rid of the entire system once and for all.  All projects should be funded through normal budget process, and proper congressional review.  No more  ‘just slip this in’ at the last minute stuff.

11 Replies to “U.S. Senators Disagree On Earmarks”

  1. Jeff J.

    Hey MC. Glad to have you posting. I agree that the last minute stuff is ridiculous and should be stopped. I think that is what Thune is getting at though when he talks about reforming the way they are done. Targeting spending to projects of specific need is important in my mind, because simply funding an agency or department won’t necessarily get the money to where the Senator or Congressman sees the need. Earmarks are a way of ensuring that the Federal government is responsive to specific needs in the country. If earmarks are put in at the beginning of the process and vetted as part of the regular budget process (over amonths long process), we can still weed out unneccesary ones while keeping the ability to target needed projects in the districts.

  2. springer

    It is said that Lewis and Clark is the reason that Thune is hedging on earmarks. This, as everything else, should be done thru proper oversight channels, not earmarks. Get rid of them. It isn’t only the earmarks themselves that cost money, it’s also the bills they are stuck into as bribes to get certain congress people to vote for said bills, which also cost money. Get rid of them!

  3. caheidelberger

    Key phrase: “funded in the normal budget process”. This earmark ban is a sham: When the Tea Party squealed “End earmarks!” it didn’t mean the process; it meant the dollars. Thune still wants to bring home that deficit-fattening bacon to South Dakota. Once again, GOP campaigns on slogans, then governs on greed.

  4. springer

    Don’t forget, Cory, Johnson doesn’t want to end them at all, still following the verbatim Dem line like a good ole boy should. There will always be bacon brought home, but it should be done with full knowledge and oversight of those dollars, some of which are for necessary projects and some of which are not, like a senator’s personal airport or a bridge to nowhere or turtle tunnels in Florida. Earmarks have deteriorated into almost a criminal activity and need to be gone, period.

  5. THC

    Define “necessary” projects.
    Ted Stevens’ “bridge to nowhere”? A locomotive museum in Scranton? A 4-lane highway between I-90 and Pierre? The John Murtha Airport airport in Johnstown, PA? A 4-lane highway between Summit and Aberdeen? How about weapons no one int he Pentagon wants but it provides jobs in a certain Congressional District? What about a military installation that has truly outlived its usefulness but is the linchpin of a region’s economy?
    Don’t pretend all pork (excuse me…”earmarks”) is a last-minute dump. Some of it has been marinating int he Congressional stew all along.
    As the Benson’s Flea Market folks tell us…”One man’s trash is another man’s treasure…”
    One man’s “necessary” is another man’s pork. It’s always been that way.

  6. insomniac

    MC good post. I have been wondering when someone would call JRT out for his weakness on positions on earmark reform.

    I was getting tired of his “I was for TARP when I thought it would be used by a Republican” line also.

    JRT is not really a strong fiscal conservative. He is conservative but he is more of a politician than a true leader. He is for a lot of things when he doesn’t have any chance of enacting anything and it can simply be rhetorical.

    That said I voted for JRT and would do so again. Kristi Noem and John Thune are not nearly as fiscally conservative as their rhetoric. I hope GOPers get that…

  7. insomniac

    Watch what John Thune says about earmarks at 6 min into the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRC1ISGOCNs

    John Thune’s earmark record: http://www.legistorm.com/earmarks/details/member/96/Sen_John_Thune_SD.html
    Fiscal Year(s) 2008-2010 Number Cost
    Solo Earmarks 17 $13,304,328
    With Other Members 137 $340,269,050
    All Congressional 154 $353,573,378
    All Sponsored Earmarks 162* $526,411,378*

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/john-thunes-earmark-conundrum_516499.html
    John Thune’s Earmark Conundrum:

    Read all of these and then you will know John Thune’s positions.

  8. William

    insomniac,

    Not to belabor the point, but “earmarks” can sometimes be in the “eye of the beholder”.

    I really, really, DON’T like the earmarking process. I think it’s a corrupting influence in Congressional budgeting. That said, whether by design to protect it or as an effect of it’s pervasiveness, many projects that SHOULD be included in the “regular” budgeting process have been designated as “earmarks”. Water projects in the Dakotas SHOULD be included as regular budget items, but for some reason, have been designated as “earmarks”.

    Far too much of what “gets done” in Washington DC is deliberately obscured and convoluted. “Politics as usual” is deliberately confusing, as it serves the purposes of incumbents and makes it difficult to “pin down” elected officials on their votes.

    I sincerely hope, politicians are finally getting the message that the country hasn’t been voting FOR Democrats and Republicans as much as they’ve been voting AGAINST “politics as usual”!

  9. feasant

    Tim Johnson is a hasbeen. He could care less about our Country, all he cares about is, he gets his share. Good riddance when his term comes up.