As you know, I believe the earmark process must be completely reformed. The current system is neither transparent nor does it have checks and balances or accountability.
Here is a summary of my 10 point plan to reform the process. You will hear more about my plans for this in the future.
10 Point Plan for Earmark Reform
- Members must make public and fully disclose all earmark requests when they are submitted.
- Put every earmark in the text of the bill.
- The bill should fully disclose all earmarks with the requesting member(s), amounts, recipients and purpose at least 1 week before any bill containing earmarks is brought to the floor.
- All earmarks must be available for discussion at an open Congressional hearing.
- All earmarks for programs must be previously authorized by Congress.
- Earmarks must serve a federal interest and/or have a federal nexus.
- No earmarks outside of a member's own state.
- No earmarks to private entities without a competitive bidding process.
- No earmark can be added or increased in a conference committee to an amount greater than the amount passed in either the House or the Senate version of the bill.
- The dollar amount of any earmarks reduced by amendment or committee should go towards debt/deficit reduction and not be reallocated into other spending.