Congressional Republicans: About 40% Of Members, And About 40% Of Earmark Spending. So What's Their Point?
A popular political chant of the Republican Party leadership as well as conservative talk radio is that somehow the Republicans are attempting to control spending and the Democrats are not. However, the simple truth is that while Republicans are about 40% of all the members of Congress and the Senate, they still propose about 40% of all the earmark spending added into legislation. It would take a microscope to find any real difference in the spending habits of the members of either party. In fact. if anything President Obama has been bipartisan in his approach by asking both parties to attempt to better control such earmarks in all future legislation.
One good example was just this week when Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky attacked the federal budget bill, although his own state of Kentucky was to receive at least $70 million in various earmark projects, that might include as many as 70 or more earmark projects. It has become very popular for congressional Republicans to add earmark spending to bills, complain about the bill for the sake of the official congressional record, vote against the bill, yet know that the pet projects they either they added to the bill, or that other members of their Republican delegation added from their own state will still get funded and become law anyway. This has become a political game by this political party.
President Obama has proposed starting a new website where all earmark spending proposals will be posted online for everyone to see. Next time when someone like Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell rails against some legislation, but the facts tell that his state is actually getting millions in earmark spending, either by his own addition or by other members of his own Kentucky delegation, then they'll be able to judge just how honest Mr. McConnell actually is with the voters.