9,000 earmarks in omnibus spending bill
“I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution; and I do not believe that the power and duty of the General Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit. A prevalent tendency to disregard the limited mission of this power and duty should, I think, be steadily resisted, to the end that the lesson should be constantly enforced that, though the people support the Government, the Government should not support the people.” – Grover Cleveland
“We need earmark reform,” Obama said in September during a presidential debate in Oxford, Miss. “And when I’m president, I will go line by line to make sure that we are not spending money unwisely.”
President Obama should prepare to carve out a lot of free time and keep the coffee hot next week as Congress prepares to unveil a $410 billion omnibus spending bill that’s riddled with thousands of earmarks, despite his calls for restraint and efforts on Capitol Hill to curtail the practice.
The bill will contain about 9,000 earmarks totaling $5 billion, congressional officials say. Many of the earmarks – loosely defined as local projects inserted by members of Congress – were inserted last year as the spending bills worked their way through various committees.
In case you’re wondering, the highest number of earmarks in a single year is 13,997 (2005) at a cost of $27.3 billion. Though the number of earmarks dropped to 9,963 in 2006, the cost surpassed the previous year at $29 billion.
Obama has pledged to “slash earmarks to no greater than 1994 levels and ensure all spending decisions are open to the public.” This spending bill isn’t a great start on that promise.
You can read the FY 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act here.
H/T: Club for Growth