Of Course Obama Will Call in SOTU for No Earmarks

The early reporting on tonight’s State of the Union Address is that President Obama will call for a complete ban on congressional earmarks.

That’s not a surprise.

Not only would a proposed ban allow the president to grab an issue congressional Republicans have been trying to claim as their own, it would be a serious transfer of power from the legislative to the executive branch.

No congressional earmarks mean that all decisions about what is spent will be left to the departments and agencies that get appropriations. Needless to say, the departments and agencies are part of the executive branch and that’s run by the president. So no congressional earmarks mean that any member of Congress who wants something spent in his or her district or state will have to ask/beg the White House for it. It also means that the White House will be in a position to get something in return for the request like an agreement to support the president’s position, to vote in favor of a nominee, to not oppose something actively, etc.

Is it any wonder that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has already said he thinks the proposal is a bad idea?

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About Stan Collender 126 Articles

Affiliation: Qorvis Communications

Stan Collender is a former New Yorker who, after getting a degree from the University of California, Berkeley, moved to Washington to get it out of his system. That was more than 30 years ago.

During most of his career, Collender has worked on the federal budget and congressional budget process, including stints on the staff of the House and Senate Budget Committees; founding the Federal Budget Report, a newsletter that was published for almost two decades; and for the past 11 years writing a weekly column for NationalJournal.com and now RollCall.com.

He is currently a managing director for Qorvis Communications, where he spends most of his time working with and for financial services clients.

Visit: Capital Gains and Games

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