Congress Still Trying to Get Earmark Reform Right


House Republicans have launched a new site aiming at further reforming the earmarking process by suspending earmarks until a joint select committee reports back on the practice (presumably with recommendations on how to reform the system).

Now Rep. Henry Waxman has come out with a strong statement supporting, if not the Republican effort, then most decidedly the sentiments behind it:

After careful consideration I have decided that I will not request funding through the earmark process in the FY 2009 appropriations cycle.

We have a problem in Congress. Congressional spending through earmarks is out of control. …

Congress needs to find a better balance in this area. Properly targeted earmarks can provide the resources for essential services and needs in all parts of our country. They can also identify the most pressing priorities and bring assistance to those who need it most. But none of us can have confidence that a majority of earmarks are meeting these goals under the current system.

Waxman goes on to suggest suspending all earmarks from the 2009 appropriations, while working with leadership to come up with a better system. The full text of the Republican earmark proposal is here.