The movement toward a federal moratorium on congressional earmarks, led by Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Senator-elect Rand Paul (R-KY), has caused considerable annoyance among some within the Republican Party. While many have argued that earmarks amount to little more than a fraction of federal outlays, and thus are not a particularly worrisome or defining feature of the bulging federal deficit, their position fails to address the crux of the anti-earmark argument itself. Namely, prohibiting the profligacy of earmarks within Congress represents a principled stand against government waste and surreptitious spending practices.
“Earmarks are a really small percentage of the budget but I think they symbolize a lot of the waste and I think we shouldn’t do it,” Senator-elect Paul declared in a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal.
Paul continued, arguing that spending should be addressed in the full light of a committee hearing and not in the dead of night. “I tell people and told people throughout the primaries as well as the general election that I will advocate for Kentucky’s interests. There are money that will be spent in Kentucky. But I will advocate in the committee process.”
Paul’s remarks as an incoming member of the freshman GOP Senate class have emboldened Senator Jim DeMint’s proposal to bring a vote banning earmarks before the GOP conference. Along with Senator-elect Paul, several other incoming members of the freshman GOP Senate class have expressed support for DeMint’s proposition.
Full article at The Daily Caller