House Bans For-Profit Earmarks, But What About Non-Profits?

March 11, 2010

(ChattahBox)—- In a move to establish their ethical bona fides in advance of the upcoming mid-term elections, Democratic House members passed a ban on directing no-bid earmarks to for-profit companies. Earmarks have long been used by lawmakers to bring home the bacon to their districts, by directing federal money to specific projects. The new ban will stop private companies and their well-funded lobbying efforts from unduly influencing lawmakers. However, earmarks are still permitted to go to non-profit entities, such as universities, social research groups and state and local governments.

In a comical display of political one-upmanship, Republican House members argued that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) should have gone further and prohibited even for-profit earmarks:

“Republicans responded immediately by proposing a moratorium on all earmarks, even those for nonprofits such as universities. House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said voters would reward Republicans in the November midterm elections for taking on special interests.”

“Are we really willing to put it all on the line to win this thing?” Boehner said to reporters.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi praised the ban, saying it was another move to hold Congress accountable, along with prior bans on gifts from lobbyists and privately financed jaunts. “It ensures that for-profit companies no longer reap the rewards of congressional earmarks and limits the influence of lobbyists on members of Congress,” said Pelosi.

Although the ban on earmarks to private companies, won’t save much money, it should make a dent in the influence lobbyists have over House members. But if the Senate does not follow suit, watchdog groups say the lobbyists will just move to the upper chamber to exert their pay-for-play influence.

See the Washington Post for more.


One Response to “House Bans For-Profit Earmarks, But What About Non-Profits?”

  1. House Bans For-Profit Earmarks, But What About Non-Profits … Mobile on March 11th, 2010 7:10 pm

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