“YES” on the Toomey Amendment
This week, the Senate may vote on the Toomey Amendment to the STOCK Act (S.2038). The amendment, known as the Earmark Elimination Act of 2012, would create a permanent ban on earmarks in the Senate. It would “not be in order” for the Senate to consider any bill, resolution, amendment or conference report that contained earmarks. Essentially, the new point of order could be used to strip all earmarks from the a legislative vehicle.
The amendment builds off long-standing conservative pressure to ban earmarks, which culminated in a complete ban for the 112th Congress. Famous earmarks, such as the “Bridge to Nowhere” and running shrimps on a treadmill, brought the problem to the forefront of American politics and caused public outrage. Although earmarks might not account for significant spending, permanently eliminating such wasteful, special interest handouts will change the way Washington works. That will not only help cut spending, but also send the message that Congress is serious about reining in government excesses.
Heritage Action supports the Toomey Amendment and will include it as a key vote on our scorecard.