Thanks to the thousands of calls made and emails sent by our Grassroots Action Team this week, House Republicans stopped the effort to bring back earmarks and pork-barrel spending.
It’s a major victory for liberty that was won by freedom-loving Americans who took action and made their voices heard.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) stopped the rules change because of how bad it would look for Republicans to embrace earmarks after Americans voted to “drain the swamp.”
It was a smart move, but he left the door open to bringing earmarks back later next year. Ryan said he would create a task force to report back with recommendations that could reopen the earmark favor factory.
So we won this initial battle, but the earmark war is not over.
We will keep you updated as earmarks raise their ugly head in the coming months. Together, we will hold the new Republican Congress accountable and make the 2016 elections matter.
MERIT VS POLITICS
Taxpayer funding should be allocated using a competitive, transparent, and merit-based process, not by a handful of powerful politicians trying to score points with key donors and special interests. And funding decisions should not be made during secret negotiations in the appropriations committees or in secret deals made with agency officials.
Earmarks not only lead to bad spending decisions, but they are also used to buy votes for budget-busting bills. Just look at Obamacare, which was passed with the Cornhusker Kickback.
If Congress disagrees with how funds are allocated by the Executive Branch, it should provide oversight to hold the agencies accountable and change the authorizing law if necessary to better serve national interests.
But in most cases, the funding in question is not part of a true federal responsibility and should be eliminated – something that will never happen if politicians have the power to earmark the funds to their cronies.
Thank you for responding to our action alert this week and for making your voice heard. If you had not made so much noise, House Republicans would have snuck this through behind closed doors.