Republican Earmarkers Already Enabling Higher Government Spending

Conn Carroll /

After yesterday’s Senate vote against an earmark ban, we again made the case that the damage earmarks do to our nation’s deficits go far beyond the nominal amounts spent on the earmarks themselves. The problem is that the votes earmarks secure from the sponsoring legislators then allow for ever higher levels of spending on other federal programs. Now, just one day after eight Republican Senators voted to protect earmark spending, CQ confirms our fears:

New Hope for a Spending Package. The 15-day stopgap bill, or CR, buys Democrats the maximum time they can take to decide how to wrap up the appropriations process before they lose unfettered control. And yesterday’s Senate test vote on earmarks suggests the party still has some hope of teaming up with enough Republicans to enact a comprehensive bill — and not just a simple CR through next September. That’s what the GOP leadership wants, because that would put them in an easier position to roll back discretionary domestic spending totals, maybe even to 2008 levels, after they take over the House and gain strength in the Senate next year. (more…)