November 13, 2010
Lewis: President Should Rein in Earmarks by Vetoing Democrats’ “Omnibus”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Appropriations Ranking Member Jerry Lewis today called on President Obama honor his promise to rein in earmarks by issuing a veto threat on any “omnibus” spending measure proposed by Democrats in the upcoming lame-duck session of Congress. Due to the failure of the Democrat majority to enact a single Appropriations bill this year, Congress must pass either an omnibus funding bill – which would fund every government agency through the next fiscal year – or a Continuing Resolution (CR) to keep government agencies operating in the short term until funding legislation can be enacted.
The current Democrat leadership in the House and Senate may attempt to force through a massive, trillion dollar-plus omnibus spending bill in the post-election, lame duck Congressional session. Such a measure will likely include millions in earmarks – none of which were requested by House Republicans who are under a moratorium on earmark spending this year.
The statement by Ranking Member Lewis follows:
“President Obama today stated that he supports reining in earmark spending. He will have the perfect opportunity to enforce this position by issuing a veto threat on any earmark-laden omnibus bill put forward by the current Democrat majority in the lame duck session.
“Not only is a costly, trillion dollar-plus omnibus bill a symbol of the Democrat’s failure to accomplish the basic budget work of Congress, but this legislation will also likely contain millions in earmarks. American taxpayers are sick and tired of excessive government spending and last-minute back-room deals. If this isn’t a sign that Democrat leaders are still not listening to the American people, I don’t know what is.
“While Democrats have been busy trying to find ways to pass a $1.1 trillion-plus omnibus, Republicans are fighting for ways to spend less. Instead of passing a huge and costly omnibus bill, Democrats should join with Republicans to pass spending cuts to bring federal budgets down to 2008 levels, which would save taxpayers $100 billion the first year alone. In the meantime, Republicans on the Appropriations Committee are working tirelessly to examine every aspect of the federal budget, so that we can start reining in bloated federal budgets immediately.
“Saving taxpayer dollars and getting our nation on a responsible financial path simply cannot wait. We must act now, starting in the lame duck session, to find ways to cut spending.”