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Senators Romney and Lee sign letter to oppose lifting ban on earmarks

Sens Mike Lee (left) and Mitt Romney (right) (US Senate)

WASHINGTON, D.C. —  Senators Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Mike Lee (R-UT) signed a letter along with several of their Senate colleagues pledging to oppose lifting the ban on earmarks. 

The letter says, “We, the undersigned, stand committed to the ban on earmarks. We will not vote to repeal it. We will not participate in an inherently wasteful spending practice that is prone to serious abuse.”

The move by Republican Senators comes nearly a month after House Republicans voted to allow their members to seek earmarks under certain conditions.  The Associated Press reported that the House Republicans felt compelled to change their internal rules so as not to see their districts disadvantaged when it comes to federal spending.

Democrats in the House have established similar new rules. Both parties agreed that no member shall ask for an earmark unless it is publicly disclosed, and each request must include written justification explaining why the project is an appropriate use of taxpayer dollars.

What is earmark legislation?

The Office of Management and Budget defines earmarks as:

Funds provided by the Congress for projects or programs where the congressional direction (in bill or report language) circumvents the merit-based or competitive allocation process, or specifies the location or recipient, or otherwise curtails the ability of the Administration to control critical aspects of the funds allocation process.

Sen. Romney’s statement on Twitter

Romney made a statement on Twitter about earmarks and said they are “rife with waste and abuse.”

“I’m proud to join my colleagues in this effort to preserve the ban on earmarks,” he said.

Other than Romney and Lee, the bill was signed by 10 other senators. 

 

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