House Republicans who crafted two short-term spending bills made $5.3 billion in cuts by going after some of Washington’s least popular spending: those congressional pet projects known as “earmarks.”
Even so, a congressional report shows they left $4.8 billion in earmarks untouched — and critics of congressional pork say they should go after it.
“Many in Congress promised taxpayers a full earmark moratorium, not a half moratorium,” says Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., an earmark opponent who requested the report from the non-partisan Congressional Research Service. “Protecting nearly $5 billion in earmarks from cuts sends the wrong message to taxpayers.”
Most of the remaining funds that congressmen set aside for pet projects are in defense, military construction and veterans affairs, according to the report last week. They account for $4.1 billion of the $4.8 billion that could be cut.
Defense earmarks have not ended. These include some of the biggest contracts created by earmarks. So much for the earmark moratorium. All we have to show for it is less transparency.