GOP spending cuts shaming Dems into earmark cuts

Washington Times:

The first spending bill to begin moving through Congress since House Republicans pledged to forgo earmarks shows the vow is working: The bill contains nearly 50 percent less in pork-barrel spending than last year's version.

The 2011 homeland security spending bill, which was approved by a House subcommittee last week, includes just one Republican earmark. And just as telling, House Democrats' earmarks dropped dramatically, with the dollar amount down nearly 20 percent from last year's bill.

"Essentially, the vacuum that was created by virtually no Republican earmarks wasn't backfilled by more Democratic earmarks, and in fact, Democrats actually took less than they did last year," said Steve Ellis, vice president at Taxpayers for Common Sense, a watchdog group. "There is a fear of overstepping the earmarking bounds, and also a commitment to at least further whittling away at earmark levels."

Earlier this year, House Republicans voted to impose a one-year ban on requesting earmarks, the items lawmakers insert into bills and reports to direct money to their states and districts back home. They said the early indications show that it's working.

...

I think this commitment should be renewed next year until we get control of spending. The Republicans have proposed spending cuts of $1.5 trillion over the next few years. That is an excellent reason to push for their take over of Congress. It seems pretty clear that Obama will want to cut the deficit with higher taxes.

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