GOP Leader John Boehner – who this year led Republicans in adopting a unilateral ban on earmarks and wants to "end earmarking as we know it" – joined in calling on Speaker Pelosi to keep earmarks out of any post-election spending bills considered during the "lame duck" session of Congress. According to National Journal:
"More than 50 Republicans, including House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, and other GOP leaders, Tuesday sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., beseeching her not to include any earmarks in catch-all omnibus spending legislation Democrats hope to pass after the election.
"‘We write to urge you at a minimum to resist the temptation of including earmarks in any ... post-election appropriations scenario,’ the letter said.
"The letter was released by Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., a long-time crusader against spending directed by members toward pet causes."
Politifact confirmed that Boehner has "a strict earmark-free record" and "has never asked for earmarks."
In a major speech at the American Enterprise Institute last week, Boehner said, "I believe it is our obligation to end earmarking as we know it and bring fundamental change to the manner in which Washington spends taxpayers' money…" The commitment to fundamentally changing the way Congress spends our money can be found in the Pledge to America outlined by Republicans in late September.
The Wall Street Journal covered a Harvard study back in May which found that earmarks and "increased federal spending causes local companies to lose sales and cut back on research, payroll and other expenses." The Journal said earmarks deliver "less economic prosperity" – and yet Democrats refused to join Republicans in banning them, despite the stubbornly high unemployment rate.
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