I can't believe the Democratic Congress will be foolish and hubristic enough to go ahead and jam though the omnibus appropriations bill with its 6,488 earmarks totaling nearly $8.3 billion. But if they do: Shouldn't the Republican House leadership commit to making H.R. 1 in the next Congress a bill rescinding all the earmarks and the whole $8.3 billion?

None of the appropriated funds will yet have been spent—and so Republicans will have the chance to begin their control of the House by acting against earmarks and saving taxpayers money. The Republicans in the Senate can then offer the bill as an amendment to the first piece of legislation on the floor in the new Senate, if Majority Leader Harry Reid refuses to bring the rescission to the floor. I suspect such an up or down vote on the earmarks, separated out from a broader appropriations bill, would pass. And President Obama—who's against earmarks—would surely sign the rescission.

It would be a nice start for the new GOP Congress.

UPDATE: A reader writes:

H.R. 1 should read:

"The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is hereby repealed."

H.R. 2 could deal with the pork.

I accept this modification, and believe that both should be advanced by the GOP Congress as early as possible.

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