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Senator Claire McCaskill (D): a conversation with bloggers in Kansas City (January 20, 2011)

Senator Claire McCaskill (D): ….I was surprised when Vicky Hartzler told me that she would take earmarks, she would seek earmarks, so….

On television in the Kansas City market this morning, from Patriot Majority:

Announcer: If it sounds too good to be true…

Senator John Cornyn (r): I think we need am earmark moratorium…

Senator Mitch McConnell (r): …support of a moratorium on earmarks…

Speaker John Boehner (r): …have an earmark moratorium…

Announcer: …it probably is.

Last year Congress said they were going to end earmarks. And then requested thirty-nine thousand of them, back room deals that would cost one hundred and twenty-nine billion taxpayer dollars.

Some in Congress are trying to end earmarks.

[Two Senators Propose New Earmarks Ban, CNN, 11/30/11]

For others it’s just business as usual.

It’s time to pass the Earmark Elimination Act and end earmarks for good.

[Paid For By Patriot Majority USA. http://www.patriotmajority.org]

The Earmark Elimination Act:

S.1930 — Earmark Elimination Act of 2011 (Placed on Calendar Senate – PCS)

S 1930 PCS

Calendar No. 243

112th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 1930

To prohibit earmarks.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

November 30, 2011

Mr. TOOMEY (for himself, Mrs. MCCASKILL, and Mr. RUBIO) introduced the following bill; which was read the first time

December 1, 2011

Read the second time and placed on the calendar

A BILL

To prohibit earmarks.

   Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

   This Act may be cited as the `Earmark Elimination Act of 2011′.

SEC. 2. PROHIBITION ON EARMARKS.

   (a) Bills and Joint Resolutions, Amendments, Amendments Between the Houses, and Conference Reports-

       (1) IN GENERAL- It shall not be in order in the Senate to consider a bill or resolution introduced in the Senate or the House of Representatives, amendment, amendment between the Houses, or conference report that includes an earmark.

       (2) PROCEDURE- Upon a point of order being made by any Senator pursuant to paragraph (1) against an earmark, and such point of order being sustained, such earmark shall be deemed stricken.

   (b) Conference Report and Amendment Between the Houses Procedure- When the Senate is considering a conference report on, or an amendment between the Houses, upon a point of order being made by any Senator pursuant to subsection (a), and such point of order being sustained, such material contained in such conference report shall be deemed stricken, and the Senate shall proceed to consider the question of whether the Senate shall recede from its amendment and concur with a further amendment, or concur in the House amendment with a further amendment, as the case may be, which further amendment shall consist of only that portion of the conference report or House amendment, as the case may be, not so stricken. Any such motion in the Senate shall be debatable under the same conditions as was the conference report. In any case in which such point of order is sustained against a conference report (or Senate amendment derived from such conference report by operation of this subsection), no further amendment shall be in order.

   (c) Waiver- Any Senator may move to waive any or all points of order under this section by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the Members, duly chosen and sworn.

   (d) Definitions-

       (1) EARMARK- For the purpose of this section, the term `earmark’ means a provision or report language included primarily at the request of a Senator or Member of the House of Representatives as certified under paragraph 1(a)(1) of rule XLIV of the Standing Rules of the Senate–

           (A) providing, authorizing, or recommending a specific amount of discretionary budget authority, credit authority, or other spending authority for a contract, loan, loan guarantee, grant, loan authority, or other expenditure with or to an entity, or targeted to a specific State, locality or Congressional district, other than through a statutory or administrative formula-driven or competitive award process;

           (B) that–

               (i) provides a Federal tax deduction, credit, exclusion, or preference to a particular beneficiary or limited group of beneficiaries under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; and

               (ii) contains eligibility criteria that are not uniform in application with respect to potential beneficiaries of such provision; or

           (C) modifying the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States in a manner that benefits 10 or fewer entities.

       (2) DETERMINATION BY THE SENATE- In the event the Chair is unable to ascertain whether or not the offending provision constitutes an earmark as defined in this subsection, the question of whether the provision constitutes an earmark shall be submitted to the Senate and be decided without debate by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the Members, duly chosen and sworn.

   (e) Application- This section shall not apply to any authorization of appropriations to a Federal entity if such authorization is not specifically targeted to a State, locality or congressional district.

Calendar No. 243

[emphasis in original]

From Senator Claire McCakill’s (D) office:

Toomey, McCaskill introduce permanent ban on earmarks

November 30, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) introduced the bipartisan Earmark Elimination Act of 2011 today. This legislation would build on the temporary moratorium on earmarks scheduled to expire at the end of 2012 and would permanently ban earmarks from the legislative process.

The legislation would:

·         Permanently ban all earmarks.

·         Define earmarks as any congressionally directed spending item, limited tax benefit, or limited tariff benefit.

·         Create a point of order against any legislation containing an earmark. The point of order would only apply to the actual earmark, rather than to the entire bill.

·         Require a two-thirds vote to waive the point of order.

Unfortunately, a number of congressional members are clamoring to reinstate the wasteful earmarking process that forced taxpayers to fund such pet projects as the Bridge to Nowhere. According to The Washington Post, lawmakers are trying to fund special-interest projects by finding loopholes i
n the current earmark moratorium. In addition, the chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee has vowed: “I am going to do everything to reinstate earmarks.” (Roll Call, 10/04/11)

Sens. Toomey and McCaskill are no strangers to the fight against wasteful earmarks. A year ago, then-Sen.-Elect Toomey and Sen. McCaskill penned a joint op-ed urging Congress to end wasteful earmarks and “business as usual” in Washington. Today, they are continuing to champion this cause on behalf of American taxpayers.

“With some members of Congress clamoring for a return to wasteful earmark spending, it is time for Congress to make the current moratorium on special-interest giveaways a permanent ban,” Sen. Toomey said. “For years, earmarks played a role in fueling the overspending in Washington and undermining the integrity of our legislative process. We cannot afford to allow Congress to resume earmarking and playing pork barrel politics with taxpayer dollars.”

“I’ve always opposed earmarks and have never backed down from a fight,” Sen. McCaskill said. “When I got to the Senate and sought to end earmarking, folks patted me on the head, and said that earmarks weren’t going away because they were part of the culture. In time, we achieved a temporary ban on earmarks. But it’s not enough. With politicians on both sides of the aisle creatively trying to get around the ban, and talking openly about ending it, it’s time to end earmarks permanently.”

###

“….I was surprised when Vicky Hartzler told me that she would take earmarks, she would seek earmarks, so….”

Are you listening, Vicky? Probably not. The teabagger base isn’t paying attention either. Besides, * IOKIYAR.

Previously:

Earmarks: Senator Claire McCaskill (D) v Rep. Vicky Hartzler (r), sort of (December 12, 2011)

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D): Patriot Majority running a supportive ad (December 13, 2011)

* it’s okay if you’re a republican