Thursday, February 7, 2013
Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) continues his commitment to protect taxpayer dollars from wasteful government spending by signing on as an original cosponsor of the Earmark Elimination Act (S. 126). The legislation would permanently ban Congressional earmarking.
“For too long, Congress directed money from the pockets of hardworking Americans to pet projects,” Scott said. “Families across South Carolina and the nation do not think backroom deals in Washington are the best use of their tax dollars, and neither do I.”
Scott continued, “We cannot credibly talk about getting our fiscal house in order without permanently banning earmarks. ‘Cleaning up Washington’ should not just be a political catch phrase, but instead a call to action. I stand committed to stopping the wasteful spending that threatens our nation’s future, and this legislation is a great step in the right direction.”
For years, earmarking led to huge amounts of federal taxpayers’ money being directed to lawmakers’ home states with little or no opportunity for review. The non-partisan watchdog Citizens Against Government Waste estimates Congress spent $208 billion on earmarks from 2000-2009. The infamous “Bridge to Nowhere” is a well-known example of this.
The Earmark Elimination Act, introduced by Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA), seeks to cut wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars by expanding the current moratorium to permanently ban earmarking. Specifically, the bill would:
· Define earmarks as any congressionally directed spending item, limited tax benefit, or limited tariff benefit.
· Create a point of order against any legislation containing an earmark. The point of order would only apply to the actual earmark, rather than to the entire bill.
· Require a two-thirds vote to waive the point of order.