Club for Growth Warns House GOP Not to Get Intoxicated with Earmarks

Rachael Slobodien - January 18th, 2018

This week the Club for Growth will unveil a new ad, “Hangover,” that brings attention to the wasteful spending practice of earmarks that Rep. John Culberson (R-TX) and some of his Republican colleagues seek to restore.

 

Ahead of releasing the ad, Club for Growth President David McIntosh offered the following statement: “In 2011, taxpayers scored a huge victory when Republicans forced Congress to sober up and swear off earmark spending.  But some House Republicans haven’t lost their taste for waste and are tempted to go off the wagon.  Bringing back earmarks would be costly both to taxpayers’ wallets and Republicans’ chances of holding a majority in the House.  We thought we’d explain the risks to John Culberson, who has publicly stated support for bringing back earmarks.  Club for Growth encourages members to do the right thing for taxpayers and abandon their desire to reinstitute earmarks.”

 

The ad will run on TV in Texas beginning tomorrow and digitally for a week.

 

To watch Club for Growth’s ad, click here.

 

The transcript of the 15-second ad can also be found below.

 

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Hangover

 

“John Culberson’s been sober for years.  But he’s getting thirsty.”

 

“He wants to bring back earmark spending in Congress.  You know:  Wasteful spending that gives taxpayers a wicked hangover.”

 

“Tell Culberson to just say NO to earmarks.”

 

Club for Growth Polling Shows Marsha Blackburn Is So Strong She’d Even Whip Bob Corker

Rachael Slobodien - January 16th, 2018

Washington, DC – Today, Club for Growth PAC released poll results that not only demonstrate conservative champion Marsha Blackburn is expanding her commanding lead over Stephen Fincher in the Republican primary, but she also would be substantially ahead of ten-year incumbent Bob Corker were he to join the race.

Specifically, the polling revealed:

  • Marsha Blackburn continues a commanding lead over Stephen Fincher.
    • Marsha Blackburn leads Fincher by 53 points in a head-to-head ballot.
    • Blackburn has built strong and positive statewide name ID with Republican primary voters.
    • Blackburn’s strong showing isn’t just a matter of name ID.
      • Blackburn leads by 44 points among voters who have heard of both candidates.
      • She leads by 40 among those with opinions of both.
  • Blackburn also would lead ten-year retiring Senator Bob Corker by 38 points.
    • In a hypothetical match-up with the retiring Senator, Blackburn has the support of more than three-in-five primary voters.
    •  Corker’s image among Republican primary voters is net-negative.

The survey was conducted for Club for Growth by WPA Intelligence on January 14-15, 2018.  The study has a sample size of n=502 likely Republican primary voters in Tennessee and a margin of error ±4.4% at the 95% confidence level.

Paid for by Club for Growth PAC and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. 202.955.5500

Open Letter to President Trump: No To A Return of Earmarks

Mr. Andrew Roth - January 10th, 2018

Dear Mr. President,

On behalf of the undersigned organizations and our millions of members from across the country, we urge you to reconsider your suggestion that Congress consider restoring earmarks.

Earmarks are the antithesis of the “drain the swamp” election that sent you to the White House. They are corrupt, inequitable, and wasteful.

Since 1991, according to CAGW’s Congressional Pig Book, there have been 110,605 earmarks costing taxpayers $329.9 billion. In 2006, one year after the 2005 highway bill had $24 billion in earmarks, including the infamous Bridge to Nowhere, appropriations earmarks totaled a record $29 billion. That was also the year Republicans lost the majority in the House of Representatives.

When Republicans took back the House in 2010, they agreed to an earmark moratorium, and they have kept that majority for the past three election cycles. The loss of the majority and the incarceration of some of their former colleagues due to earmarks were fresh in their minds.

The distribution of funds for earmarks skews heavily toward those in power. In the 111th Congress, when the names of members who requested earmarks were included in the appropriations bills, the 81 appropriators who constituted 15 percent of the 535 members of Congress purloined 61 percent of the earmarks and 51 percent of the money for earmarks. Earmarks do not help members get along better; they unfairly benefit a select group at the expense of everyone else.

If you have been hearing that earmarks are essential to help pass bills, that claim has been debunked by the passage in the House of all 12 appropriations bills for fiscal year 2018. That achievement did not require resorting to the prior practice of “legalized bribery,” under which a few million dollars in earmarks were traded for votes in favor of hundreds of billions of dollars in spending bills.

Earmarks are a lazy, unfair and corrupt way to circumvent the authorization and appropriations process. They have been roundly excoriated by the conservative movement upon which Republicans depend for their political lives.

The American people have made it clear that they want an end to business as usual in Washington. Earmarks for teapot museums, indoor rainforests, and bridges to nowhere should not be restored; they should be permanently banned. We respectfully urge you to make it clear you agree with the taxpayers on this issue.

Sincerely,

Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
National Taxpayers Union
FreedomWorks
Americans for Tax Reform
60 Plus Association
The Club for Growth
Coalition to Reduce Spending
Taxpayers Protection Alliance
Taxpayers for Common Sense
ALEC Action

Open Letter to Congress: Don’t Bring Back Earmarks

Mr. Andrew Roth - January 10th, 2018

Dear Members of Congress:

In 2011, your body spoke with a clear voice against the culture of waste and abuse endemic to Washington by passing a ban on the scandal-ridden earmark process.

Earmarks can feasibly increase the upward pressure on members of Congress to spend more to get their own pet projects approved.

Even though defenders correctly note that earmarks did not constitute a large portion of the federal budget, the primary problem with them remains as true today as in 2011: Earmarks incentivize waste on the dubious assumption that trading pet projects helps better legislation get passed.

Nostalgic supporters of earmarks might suggest a world in which Representatives were able to directly respond to district needs, but data suggests otherwise.

In 2011, researchers uncovered evidence that leadership regularly provided extra earmarks depending not on need but on how much of a reelection challenge particular members faced.

In 2010, a Harvard working paper found that when one of a state’s Senators becomes chair of a powerful committee, the number of earmarks to that state skyrockets by a startling 50%, while private investment and R&D spending are depressed.

Perhaps not all earmarks are “bridges to nowhere,” but bridges to reelection and political power are hardly reassuring in a time of ever-increasing deficits and debt.

To be clear, the status quo is in no way perfect, and opportunities for reform are abundant. In a time of dysfunction and even immobility on major legislation, it is not surprising that lawmakers might seek any available options for
making the wheels of government turn smoother. But relying upon cronyism and waste as the currency is indefensible.

We, as the undersigned organizations, strongly object to any move to bring back earmarks and urge further reforms of the process in order to ensure the fiscal sanity, accountability, and small government policy your constituents demand.

Sincerely,

Coalition to Reduce Spending
National Taxpayers Union
Alaska Policy Forum
ALEC
ALEC Action
American Commitment
Americans for Prosperity
Americans for Tax Reform
Center for Freedom and Prosperity
Center for Individual Freedom
Civitas Institute
Club for Growth
Concerned Veterans for America
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce
FreedomWorks
Free the People
Frontiers of Freedom
Generation Opportunity
Goldwater Institute
Heritage Action
Independent Women’s Voice
Let Freedom Ring
The LIBRE Initiative
The Maine Heritage Policy Center
The National Center for Public Policy Research
Pioneer Institute
60 Plus Association
Republican Liberty Caucus
Taxpayers for Common Sense
Taxpayers Protection Alliance
Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund

Club for Growth on Bringing Back Earmarks

Rachael Slobodien - January 09th, 2018

Washington, DC – Today, Club for Growth President David McIntosh offered the following statement upon news of House Republicans’ interest in bringing back earmarks:

“If Republicans bring back earmarks, then it virtually guarantees that they will lose the House, stated Club for Growth President David McIntosh.

 

Bringing back earmarks is the antithesis of draining the swamp.  Earmarks will only benefit the special interests that grow government at the expense of working men and women.

 

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