Home » NEWS » Cochran opposes earmark moratorium

Cochran opposes earmark moratorium

WASHINGTON — Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, has come out strongly against a proposal that he says would effectively impose a moratorium on how Congress uses earmarks to appropriate funding for programs and projects within the federal government.

The Senate on Tuesday voted with Cochran (68-29) to table an amendment sponsored by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) that would have placed a one-year moratorium on earmarks. The amendment was offered to the FAA Reauthorization Act (HR.1586).

“Earmarking has nothing to do with how much the federal government spends, but has everything to do with who decides,” Cochran said in a floor speech prior to the vote against the amendment.

Cochran argued that an earmark moratorium would not, as some believe, curb federal spending. He explained that Senate Appropriations Committee produces spending bills that conform to the discretionary spending levels set by Congress in annual budget resolutions.

Mississippi’s senior Senator described a moratorium as a “makeshift budget constraint that accomplishes nothing except shift power from the Congress to the executive,” which would “be an abdication of our responsibilities as United States Senators.”

“The level of spending is not the question before us. The question proposed by the DeMint Amendment is whether Congress will allow the executive branch to make 100 percent of all the decisions about how spending is allocated or whether Congress will preserve its Constitutional prerogative to appropriate the funds for the purposes that it deems meritorious,” Cochran said.

Finally, Cochran said the interests of each state can be better represented by its elected Senators rather than by leaving all federal spending decisions to various departments and agencies within the federal government.

“I think the people of my state are entitled to be represented by an advocate for projects and programs that benefit our state,” Cochran said. “There are many outstanding civil servants within the executive branch, but those persons are not necessarily familiar with the interests of the people in our respective states and with the needs of those whom we represent.

“It is naïve to think that political considerations are not going to be part of the executive branch decision-making process either. History belies the notion that executive branch judgment, with regard to spending, is superior to the legislative branch.”


… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.

If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.

Click for more info

About Wally Northway

Leave a Reply