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McCaskill Partners with Sen. DeMint (R-SC) on Resolution to Ban Earmarks

Provision would impose moratorium on earmarks in budget for FY2011

February 4, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. - As the Senate prepares to consider the proposed budget for FY2011, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill today continued her fight to crack down on earmarks. Today, she signed on to a resolution introduced by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) that would impose an immediate ban on any legislation containing any earmarks through FY2011.

"Washington needs to get serious about the way the government spends taxpayer money," McCaskill said. "Earmarks are doled out based on whether you're on the right committee, how long you've been around, or whether you're in political trouble. For FY2010 alone, Congress appropriated over $10 billion in congressional earmarks. While that's not a huge percentage of the budget, it's a good place to start reducing waste in federal spending"

Specifically, today's resolution would change the Senate rules to prohibit the consideration of any bill, joint resolution, or conference report containing earmarks. It would require 67 votes to waive the rule for any spending bill for FY2010 and FY2011.

Since her arrival in Washington, McCaskill has fought continuously to reform the earmark process, which in the past has frequently had too little accountability, and often results in allocating money based on seniority or political power rather than the merits of the project. She does not request any earmarks and believes that competitive merit and need-based federal grant and low-interest government loan programs bring federal assistance to Missouri in an honest and fiscally responsible manner.

In addition, to further hold down federal spending, McCaskill supported a number of other measures that would help address the country's growing deficit problem. She and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) introduced an amendment to cap discretionary spending until 2014. While the amendment unfortunately only received 56 of the 60 votes it needed to pass, a similar freeze in discretionary spending was included in the proposed FY2011 budget.

Claire also introduced Pay-As-You-Go legislation - a version of which was passed by the Senate last week - to require Congress to pay for any new spending measures and supported the creation of a Fiscal Task Force that would development legislative recommendations to address long-term fiscal imbalances.

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