The Blog

GOP Proposes Earmark Moratorium in Wake of PMA Scandal


11:45 AM, Mar 11, 2010 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

Earmarks are easy for voters to understand. They are a clear symbol of something that's wrong with Washington, and a symbol of precisely what the Pelosi/Reid Congress and the Obama presidency was supposed to fix after the Abramoff years. It's also a problem that's fairly easy for the GOP to show progress on if they have the will to stick to a moratorium. And, most importantly, it moves toward solving the spending problem, which is what voters are most concerned about.

The GOP conference will meet today to discuss the yearlong moratorium. Any time the GOP conference is taking tips from pork-warrior Rep. Jeff Flake, I'm happy. But today, more than in the past, listening to Flake also happens to appeal to voters in a big way. So, heed Flake:

“I warned my leadership for years that we could be outflanked on this,” he said. “I think Democrats have seen the writing on the wall.”

Update: Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, who made a bit of a name for himself facing off with Obama at the GOP Question Time event in Baltimore last month, has renounced earmarks:

“I told the people of Utah I would seek to change the way we do business in Washington, DC.  Nowhere has that promise ruffled more feathers than in the fight over federal earmarking,” said Chaffetz. “We are more than $12 trillion in debt. I can’t justify driving up our national debt.”

The Examiner continues:

Instead, he will "find funding for worthy projects through the president’s budget submission and through the grant process, which differs from earmarks in that it is transparent, budgeted, and competitively awards dollars based on merit and need."

Recent Blog Posts

The Weekly Standard Archives

Browse 19 Years of the Weekly Standard

Old covers