House Republicans Aren't Serious About Earmark Reform
Steering Committee Puts Rep. Jo Bonner on Appropriations
By Bluey Posted in Congress | Earmarks | Jo Bonner | John Boehner | Pork-Barrel Politics — Comments (21) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
Just when it appeared House Republicans had turned the corner on earmark reform, party leaders did the unthinkable. They picked Rep. Jo Bonner (R-Ala.) for the vacant seat on the Appropriations Committee, bypassing conservative Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and the opportunity to show they were committed to real reform.
Bonner may talk a good game when it comes to earmark reform. However, his record is abysmal. The three-term Republican scored just 2% on the Club for Growth's 2007 RePORK Card, meaning he voted for just one of the 50 anti-pork amendments offered by conservatives. Andy Roth notes that's the same score as liberal Reps. Steny Hoyer, Bill Jefferson and James Moran. Flake, on the other hand, not only supported all 50, but he introduced many himself.
The National Taxpayers Union scorecard paints an even worse picture. While Flake was earning A's consistently, Bonner was receiving B's and C's. Flake scored 92% in 2006, whereas Bonner had a pathetic 55% on NTU's scorecard for all tax, spending, trade and regulatory votes.
Americans for Prosperity president Tim Phillips called it "a huge missed opportunity for true earmark reform and for the Republican Party."
Of course, Bonner's record didn't stop Minority Leader John Boehner from trying to spin this as a victory for earmark reformers.
Jo Bonner was chosen because he symbolizes the changing perspective in the House Republican ranks on the role of earmarks, and the emerging consensus among Republicans on the need to fundamentally change Washington’s broken spending process.
Boehner should be smarter than to feed us this line of bull. Even though Flake demonstrated his commitment to reform by taking tough votes year after year, the House Republican Steering Committee decided Bonner's convenient change in rhetoric was enough to pacify taxpayers.
We cannot let the Steering Committee get away with this sham. Below is a list of the Steering Committee. Call the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and make your voice heard.
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Rep. John A. Boehner (R OH–8), Minority Leader
Rep. Roy D. Blunt (R MO–7), Minority Whip
Rep. Eric Cantor (R VA–7), Chief Deputy Minority Whip
Rep. Adam H. Putnam (R FL–12), Republican Conference Chair
Rep. Kay Granger (R TX–12), Republican Conference Vice Chair
Rep. John R. Carter (R TX–31), Republican Conference Secretary
Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R MI–11), Republican Policy Committee Chair
Rep. Tom Cole (R OK–4), National Republican Congressional Committee Chair
Committee Ranking Members
Rep. Jerry Lewis (R CA–41), Committee on Appropriations
Rep. Joe Barton (R TX–6), Committee on Energy and Commerce
Rep. David Dreier (R CA–26), Committee on Rules
Rep. Jim McCrery (R LA–4), Committee on Ways and Means
Rep. Ken Calvert (R CA–44), California Representative
Rep. C. W. Bill Young (R FL–10), Florida Representative
Rep. Lamar Smith (R TX–21), Texas Representative
Rep. Doc Hastings (R WA–4), Region I Representative
Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R CO–4), Region II Representative
Rep. Tom Latham (R IA–4), Region III Representative
Rep. Dave Camp (R MI–4), Region IV Representative
Rep. John M. McHugh (R NY–23), Region V Representative
Vacant, Region VI Representative
Rep. Ralph Regula (R OH–16), Region VII Representative
Rep. Hal Rogers (R KY–5), Region VIII Representative
Rep. Spencer Bachus (R AL–6), Region IX Representative
Small State Representative
Rep. Don Young (R AK–At Large)
Rep. John R. Carter (R TX–31), 108th Class:
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R WA–5), 109th Class
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R CA–22), 110th Class