Today, Jeff Flake and I offered an amendment to the FY2009 Military Construction/Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill. Our amendment would prohibit funding for the 103 congressionally requested earmarks found in the bill. This amendment would also reduce the overall cost of the bill by the more than half a billion taxpayer dollars.
This is likely to be the only appropriations bill that we will see before the election, and the only chance Members will have to publicly state their position on earmarks. In what should be a pretty straightforward vote, at least for Republicans, is causing considerable consternation for both sides of the aisle. It is being considered in the Report cards of numerous groups.
The Amendment failed by a vote of 350-63, to see how Members voted, click here.
Clearly Members of Congress do not yet understand what the vast majority of Americans know--earmarks must be ended or reformed. However, we did garner more votes than a similar amendment received last year. It can take awhile for Congress to get a message.
Keep sending them one.