Senators support ban on earmarks

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ATLANTA --- U.S. Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson showed their support Tuesday for a two-year moratorium on pork-barrel earmarks, joining fellow Republicans in a push to halt a popular political practice that lawmakers have used for years to fund projects at home.

Both senators have used earmarks to funnel money to projects in Georgia, and Chambliss offered a caveat after voting for the nonbinding resolution.

"There are times when crises arise or issues come forth of such importance to Georgia, such as critical support to the port of Savannah, and the nation that I reserve the right to ask Congress and the president to approve funding," he said.

Isakson also said he would continue to fight for funding for the state while also working to cut federal spending.

"I agree we should not be funding projects that are frivolous or nonessential functions of the federal government," he said.

Chambliss has secured far more in earmarks than Isakson, according to Legistorm, a Web site that compiles federal earmark data.

According to the site, Chambliss has been the sole sponsor on 47 earmarks worth $580.5 million from fiscal year 2008-10. He has been a co-sponsor of 313 earmarks worth $1.7 billion. His name has appeared on $2.3 billion worth of earmarks.

Most of Chambliss' larger earmarks have been for Georgia's military bases, such as construction of trainee barracks at Fort Benning and infrastructure improvements at Fort Stewart.

Isakson secured 11 solo earmarks worth $5.6 million. He co-sponsored 251 earmarks worth $1.65 billion. His name has appeared on a total of $1.65 billion in earmarks. Among his larger earmarks was a peer reviewed breast cancer research treatment program with several other senators.

He and Chambliss also collaborated on a little over $200 million in earmarks for a regional security operations center at Fort Gordon.

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Taylor B
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Taylor B 11/16/10 - 07:41 pm
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Non-binding. That means this

Non-binding. That means this is just symbolic. Moving along...

Bob Farquhar
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Bob Farquhar 11/16/10 - 08:08 pm
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They can make their mind up

They can make their mind up that quickly on earmarks, but yet Saxby waffles on New START, a treaty that will make us all more secure.

TrukinRanger
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TrukinRanger 11/16/10 - 08:26 pm
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I hope this gets final
Unpublished

I hope this gets final passage..... and I hope my fellow dems follow along.... next we need to ban lobbyists!!!

Charles Wilburn
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Charles Wilburn 11/17/10 - 04:36 am
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These two old establishment

These two old establishment senators had to be dragged kicking and screaming to this agreement. It is going to be interesting to see if they
reclaim their GW Bush era "pro-amnesty for illegals" position when the comprehensive amnesty bill is again introduced in Congress. If so, it will again be to curry favor with the farmers and agriculture lobbyists.

John Scott
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John Scott 11/17/10 - 07:40 am
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Come on Republicans, grow a

Come on Republicans, grow a spine and call for a complete ban on earmarks. Or are you not discounting them altogether because you plan on winning the White House two years from now in 2012? I didn't ask for this type of political maneuvering when I gave y'all my vote a couple weeks ago. We're tired of inside deals and spin when it comes to legislative brokering. We want straightforwardness and honesty, which means removing the temptation to accept bribes (in the form of earmarks) in exchange for your vote on a bill.

justthefacts
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justthefacts 11/17/10 - 08:09 am
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If the project is viable

If the project is viable enough, it should stand on it's own. The problem with earmarks is they are traded between congressmen, like currency, to get each others support on totally unrelated legislation. "I will vote for yours if you vote for mine". It's wasteful.

Many Arrows
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Many Arrows 11/17/10 - 10:31 am
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proud2bamerican
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proud2bamerican 11/17/10 - 02:18 pm
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Right...ban on "earmarks" AND

Right...ban on "earmarks" AND ban on our freedoms to grow food in this country!! Labeled as the most dangerous bill in US history...take time away from blogging and email and call your state Reps NOW!! http://www.examiner.com/wellness-in-atlanta/government-wants-to-restrict...

ameliaf
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ameliaf 11/17/10 - 06:15 pm
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RE: comments regarding

RE: comments regarding freedom to grow food.

The bill is Senate Bill 510. It is concerned with food safety, but I am concerned that small growers who supply our farmer's markets are going to be impacted. I love those fresh veggies and I like buying locally grown produce - those farmers are part of my community.

I have emailed Isakson and Chambliss - I think they are both sponsors of the bill. I do not know if what I have read is hype or not, but small farmers don't need to be driven out of business. I am afraid that Isakson and Chambliss may have not taken good care of them in this bill.

ameliaf
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ameliaf 11/17/10 - 06:27 pm
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Now, a comment about Isakson

Now, a comment about Isakson and Chambliss and earmarks.

There is something wrong with the system that allocates federal monies for just about everything based on the power of the representative or senator who votes on the bill. For example, Chambliss is credited with getting lots of earmarks for military bases. Would these bases not have gotten the upgrades because the military asked for them? Did Chambliss require spending on something the military didn't want to spend money on? In order to get the upgrades to military bases in Georgia, did Iowa also get upgrades that the military didn't want?

Is every little penny of federal money spent in a state the result of some finagling by an elected politician? If it is, then I would rather have the executive branch make the decisions because letting Congress make all these minute spending decisions invites abuse, overspending, and frivolous spending on things like science centers funded by the U.S. Army.

(Yes, as much as that was nice for Augusta, it was a piece of pork. If we want pork to go away, we have to be willing to give up the pork we get, too.)

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