McMorris Rodgers Responds to Lewiston Tribune Editorial on Earmarks

Recently you may have read on this page Lewiston Morning Tribune Editorial Page Editor Jim Fisher’s criticism of the earmark process in Congress.  He’s right—members of Congress spend too much of your tax dollars on pet projects for their districts.  And often that money is spent out of the public’s eye—hidden in committee reports.  Sometimes, lawmakers don’t even know those earmarks are tucked away in the bills they are voting on!

Earlier this year, the House Democratic Majority forced Republicans to choose between accepting a moratorium on earmarks or continuing the status quo.  Business as usual is not acceptable.  Time and time again I’ve seen where the earmark process has been used and abused for personal and political gain.  Congress needs real earmark reform.  That’s why on March 13th of this year I decided to adopt a one year moratorium on earmarks. 

I support creating a bipartisan panel of Members who will examine the current earmark process, seek public input and suggest changes to the earmark process—one that guarantees transparency and accountability.

I’m proud of my earmark record, which has been transparent.  I’ve used the earmark for the sole purpose of enhancing Eastern Washington business, agriculture, cultural, and educational interests. 

I support earmarks but not under the current system.  Our tax dollars should be used wisely or not at all.  We simply can't continue with the current system—it hurts tax payers and the people of our region.  Eastern Washington has many valuable projects that I believe will be funded under a new and improved system.  I am hopeful we will use this year to make changes that will make taxpayers proud.

–By Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers

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