The Washington Spending Obsession

John Campbell
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Posted: Jan 09, 2008 2:31 PM

The President has an opportunity to send a clear message to Washington and its obsession with spending. 

Before the recess, Congress hurriedly sent the omnibus appropriations bill to the President littered with roughly 9,000 earmarks.  To no one’s surprise, many of these earmarks were not included in the text of the bill, but rather tucked away in the committee report, bypassing the new earmark rules.

On December 18, The Congressional Research Service (CRS), the nonpartisan research arm of Congress, stated that earmarks placed into committee reports do not have the force of law. 

Technically speaking, Committee Reports do not carry the force of law, and the President is not constitutionally required to enforce any language other than that of the legislative text, and in this case he should not..

Earlier this year, President Bush and Democratic Leaders agreed to cut earmarks to less than 7,000.  The Democratic Congress has clearly failed on their end of the deal. 

The President must hold up his end of the deal and send a signal to Washington and the American people that fiscal recklessness will no longer be tolerated.