TPA Urges Senate to Vote for S.1930, the Earmark Elimination Act

David Williams

February 1, 2012

Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) urged the Senate to pass S. 1930, the Earmark Elimination Act.  Offered by Sens. Cklair McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), S. 1030 would permanently kill earmarks.

Earmarks cost billions of dollars per year and are a corrupting force in American politics.  Even though the House and Senate imposed a two year moratorium on earmarks in 2010, TPA uncovered $3 billion in earmarks in the fiscal year 2012 Defense Appropriations Bill.

Earmarks have been the currency of Congress for many years as both parties used earmarks to curry favor back home and used them to try and get re-elected.  Former members of Congress including Randy “Duke” Cunningham (R-Calif.) were sent to jail for accepting bribes to secure earmarks for friends and businesses.  Disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff also spent time in jail for promising earmarks for clients.  The notorious Bridge to Nowhere became a symbol of earmarks but history is full of wasteful examples of pork barrel politics such as:  $50,000,000 for an indoor rain forest in Iowa; $500,000 for a teapot museum; and $100,000 for the Tiger Woods Foundation.

Earmarks circumvent established budgetary processes and procedures and further exacerbate taxpayers’ cynicism of Washington, D.C.  The current $15 trillion debt is partly due to Congress being more concerned about earmarks than the financial well-being of the country.

In 2010, the House and Senate reluctantly agreed to a two-year moratorium but earmarks still survive.  TPA applauds Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) in their attempt to permanently kill earmarks.