The power to appropriate funding is a legislative power. Our Constitution provides that, “No money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.”
While appropriating funding is a legislative power, the most fundamental duty of Congress is to efficiently appropriate federal funds to ensure maximum value out of every tax dollar. This is a responsibility that I take very seriously. Throughout my years in Congress, I have worked with my colleagues to fund necessary endeavors, provide support to our troops and, when possible, terminate unnecessary federal programs.
Unfortunately, too many in Washington have used both the appropriations and budget processes to promote and enact reckless policies consisting of taxing too much, borrowing too much and spending too much. With a national debt of more than $16 trillion and back-to-back annual deficits of more than $1 trillion, my Republican colleagues and I in Congress must continue to fight to restore the American Dream for our children and grandchildren before it is completely bankrupted. We must get back to our founding, free-market principles and end big government and wasteful spending.
My fellow Republican colleagues and I have committed to restoring austerity and transparency to the appropriations process by taking a hard look at not only wasteful federal spending, but also appropriations’ tools that have become a symptom of an out-of-control Washington. One such tool is the earmark. An earmark is a specific amount of taxpayer money requested by a legislator that is directed to a specific project or recipient, typically in a legislator’s home state or district. Earmarks are most commonly found in appropriations legislation. Bridges-to-nowhere, “monuments to me” and other frivolous spending projects waste valuable taxpayer dollars and are a magnet for corruption and political favors. For this reason, my House Republican colleagues and I established and have maintained a unilateral, self-imposed ban on earmarks since 2010.
Although some earmarks can serve valuable purposes—such as infrastructure and research projects—wasteful earmarks have unfortunately polluted the earmark process. The need for comprehensive earmark reform is clear, and I hope that this can be achieved sooner rather than later.
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