President Obama Backs Pork-Laden, Job-Killing Spending Binge Despite Promises to "End Earmark Spending"

Republicans Call on President Obama to Reverse Course and Match His Words With Action by Vetoing the Job-Killing Omnibus Spending Binge

Yesterday, the Obama Administration “told Congress to pass” a $1.1 trillion-dollar spending bill stuffed with nearly 7,000 earmarks that will cost taxpayers more than $8 billion, according to an ABC News report.  The President’s support for the massive spending bill represents a complete reversal from his position just one month ago, when he said he would work to “end earmark spending.”  While the White House is already signaling that the President will sign the bill, he still has an opportunity to reverse course, keep his promises, and veto this earmark-laden, job-killing spending binge.  Is the President listening to the American people?  Here’s a sampling of what now just seems like more empty political rhetoric that Americans steadfastly rejected in November:

  • November 15, 2010: President Obama pledges to work with Congress to end earmark spending.  “[A]s President, I’ve called for new limitations on earmarks and set new, higher standards of transparency and accountability. But we can’t stop with earmarks as they represent only part of the problem.  In the days and weeks to come, I look forward to working with Democrats and Republicans to not only end earmark spending, but to find other ways to bring down our deficits for our children.” (Statement of the President on Earmark Reform, 11/15/10)
  • May 24, 2010: President Obama says that allowing taxpayer dollars to be wasted on earmarks constitutes an “irresponsible abuse of the public trust.”  “Now more than ever, it's critical that taxpayer dollars are not wasted on programs that are ineffective, duplicative, or out-dated.  In a time when American families and small business owners are conscious of every dollar and make sure that they manage their budgets wisely, the Federal Government can do no less.  The American people expect and demand that we spend their money with the same discipline.  Allowing taxpayer dollars to be wasted is both an irresponsible use of taxpayer funds and an irresponsible abuse of the public trust.”  (Message from the President Regarding the Reduce Unnecessary Spending Act, 5/24/10)
  • December 16, 2009: President Obama signs a massive spending bill containing 5,000 earmarks.  “The library is just one of more than 5,000 ‘earmarks,’ or pork-barrel spending projects, totaling $3.9 billion, tucked inside the report accompanying the catchall spending bill Congress sent to President Obama this week. Mr. Obama signed the … bill Wednesday, violating his own pledge to allow the public five days to comment on bills before he signs them.” (The Washington Times, 12/18/09)
  • March 11, 2009: President Obama signs a massive spending bill containing 9,000 earmarks amid promises that it would “mark an end to the old way of doing business.”  “President Obama acknowledged today that he signed an ‘imperfect omnibus bill’ but told Congress to clean up its act when it comes to pork-barrel projects that are inserted into spending bills without going through the traditional appropriations process, better known as earmarks.  The president signed the $410 billion spending bill, which contains roughly 9,000 earmarks totaling nearly $8 billion, behind closed doors and away from the glare of the cameras. But before he did, he came before myriad cameras to insist he viewed the bill ‘as a departure point for more far-reaching change.’” (ABC News, 3/10/09) The President added, “The future demands that we operate in a different way than we have in the past. So let there be no doubt: This piece of legislation must mark an end to the old way of doing business, and the beginning of a new era of responsibility and accountability that the American people have every right to expect and demand.” (Remarks by the President on Earmark Reform, 3/11/09)

Yesterday, Speaker-designate John Boehner (R-OH) renewed his call for President Obama to match words with actions and veto the massive, job-killing, pork-laden omnibus spending bill:

 
 

“One month ago today, President Obama said that we can’t afford wasteful earmark spending during these tough economic times, and that he would work to end earmark spending.  Now it is time for him to back up those words with action, by making it clear that he will veto the omnibus spending bill written by Senate Democrats, which includes over 6,000 earmarks. 

 

“At a time when the federal government is borrowing 41 cents out of every dollar it spends from our kids and grandkids, this is a ‘Christmas tree’ our nation simply can’t afford.  The American people have spoken.  It’s time to end Washington’s job-killing spending binge – and now the ball is in President Obama’s court.”

A PLEDGE TO AMERICA.  Republicans in both the House and Senate are listening to the American people and have already passed a ban on earmarks for the 112th Congress.  In addition, Republicans have made a Pledge to America to cut spending and help create jobs by: cancelling unspent ‘stimulus’ funds, cutting government spending to pre-‘stimulus,’ pre-bailout levels, establishing a hard cap on new discretionary spending, cutting Congress’ budget and holding weekly votes on spending cuts.  Republicans will continue fighting to stop the job-killing omnibus bill, and encourage President Obama to keep his word to the American people and veto this reckless, last-minute spending binge.