March 11, 2009

Hoyer: 'Pork' doesn't fatten the budget

Posted: 09:44 AM ET

By Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., majority leader of the House of Representatives.

Congressional initiatives, added to the president's specific priorities, have come to be known as "earmarks." The power of the purse is expressly bestowed upon Congress by the Constitution and must be protected to maintain the balance of power between the branches of government.

Earmarks, however, actually make up a tiny portion of the budget but have received a disproportionate share of attention.

This attention is due in part to some appropriate criticism of wasteful earmarks and, in part, to purely political motives.

While in control, Republicans reveled in earmarks, quadrupling the number. When Democrats took back Congress in 2007, we imposed strict accountability rules. Now, lawmakers must disclose their earmarks, certify that they have no personal financial stake in them and identify any private entity that might benefit. The public can track every dime, and we are in the process of adopting further transparency measures this year.


Filed under: Congress • Politics

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Joey G, Ketchikan, Alaska   March 11th, 2009 10:13 am ET

Larry – I was thinking that earmarks should be signed and disposed of no matter what. I am not a member of Congress but my point is let the Democrats enjoy while they haven't during Bush season.
As we say – "whether-whether only" kind of rhetoric about those Republicans who are like drunk sailors on board the Titanic.
These Republicans, or "Lost Command" have nothing to do in Congress. Why don't they resign rather than being humiliated for the rest of the Obama term.

Art   March 11th, 2009 10:51 am ET

Both the porkers and the CEO bonus irresponsibility seems done by people with minds more like dumbest criminals than frugal business men.

Terry, TX   March 11th, 2009 11:08 am ET

A speech/lecture on PORK by the President today....then the President signs in private.... 8,000 pork projects Dems & Repubs....and Rep Hoyer shows up on Larry King to refer to the past and do damage control. Not my fault...we will fix Pork the next time....well you have already crammed them through....what next need more?

We are aware of the Porks Bills signed by this President under his watch...his Presidency..his budget...his recession. There was a peaceful transition of power...he's in charge.
Did he use his power of veto to remove Pork...suspend Pork temporarily...fix it...something. That would have been the presidential thing to do… instead of pay for play for ACORN, unions, contributors, lobbyists, std's, pig smell... etcc….jobs and the economy...hello.
We are just being Blagovich-ed with an “F”.

Mike   March 11th, 2009 11:17 am ET

Larry should ask these politicians if they really believe the BS that comes out of their mouths.

Mike   March 11th, 2009 11:18 am ET

By the way, this bill was delayed to the Obama adminstration because Bush had threatened to veto it. People need to see the kind of moronic behavior now being portrayed as change for what it really is.

Woody McBreairty   March 11th, 2009 1:22 pm ET

No, pork doesn't ftatten the budget but the pigs do.
They inflate the budget to begin with, adding billions of dollars so they can add their ear marks "at no higher cost". Who do they think they're fooling? These people are really slick with their politicing and if they don't pull their shenanigans with ear marks you'd better believe they'll find another way to trick and decieve the American people. They remind me of the wasteful banks and S&L's who are wasting millions of dollars then saying it is "other money" they are using and not the bail out money for their high living life styles. It's very discouraging for normal people to try to rationalize their own sacrifices while the pigs continue to slop at the troughs.

Eric   March 11th, 2009 2:08 pm ET

Obama said during his campaign, he would have a line item veto to remove pork and earmarks on spending that was not of neccesity! That was the words that came from his own lips. Did he do that? Hell no! I am not surprised, he just said whatever he needed to say to win. He is a liar just like any other politician is. Being a democrat president doesn't make him any better than anyone else who lies. He is a LIAR!! Bottom line he has deceived the american people in beleiving he is superman and is going to save us all! Bologna! I wasn't fooled. I voted for Mike Huckabee, the only one who could have helped us all. Had to vote for mcCain because I knew Obama wouldn't deliver!

Pietro Sirianni   March 11th, 2009 2:34 pm ET

Obama did what he said he was going to do to the extent that congress would let him. Our president does not have supreme power (all except for Cheney of course.) There is a system of checks and balances and Obama followed that system. He's done a spectacular job bringing this country back from the edge of disaster that republicants brought us to.

...and by the way...
Huckabee is not only a terrible politician, he's an awful bass player.

hugh ~ california   March 11th, 2009 2:39 pm ET

Your comments are sour grapes. You're twisting the truth, Obama never said he would line item veto every pork bill–that was the words of John McCain. Obama said he would remove pork bills HE thought were not necessary. Obama has deceived no one. Calling him a liar is a falsehood.

Eric   March 11th, 2009 2:46 pm ET

He did say that and he is a liar, and those who defend him!

Eric   March 11th, 2009 2:49 pm ET

As I said previously, it was the ones that were not necessary.

Pietro Sirianni   March 11th, 2009 3:04 pm ET

Who are you to deem what is necessary and what is not? Obviously you do not understand how our government works.

Eric   March 11th, 2009 3:07 pm ET

Pietro you are probably not even from our country, what is necessary is for our government to spend like we do! Get citizenship and you may have a voice here, and you may understand what goes on here a little better in OUR country!!

Pietro Sirianni   March 11th, 2009 3:37 pm ET

You are indicative of your party. Pietro is an Italian name, but I wouldn't expect a small minded individual such as yourself to be aware of that. I was born and educated in the United States of America. You may have been born here, but you were obviously never educated. Again, you are indicative of your party and the ignorance that runs through it. Thank you for being a shinning example.

Eric   March 11th, 2009 3:42 pm ET

Your welcome Pietro,
By the way my mind is alot bigger than you realize. I see the big picture of what's going on here, and you see the clouded one with your narrow minded democrat views. I am not a republican, in which your narrow mind thinks. Go on thinking what you will, but i really don't need to explain myself to you, it's obvious you are already educated well beyond your intelligence!

Pietro Sirianni   March 11th, 2009 3:52 pm ET

Check, and mate.
Thanks again.

hugh ~ california   March 11th, 2009 4:13 pm ET

You are obviously the one with the narrow mind, with your ultra-conservative views by stereotyping someone with an non-english name.

atsegga   March 11th, 2009 5:13 pm ET

We need to spend some of this money on lowering poverty rates.

The Borgen Project has some good info on the cost of addressing global poverty.

$30 billion: Annual shortfall to end world hunger.
$550 billion: U.S. Defense budget

John   March 11th, 2009 5:43 pm ET

I am happy to hear that there is more transparency now than there was before but I don't want to hear the same old "Well Johnny did it so why can't I?" It reminds me of when I was raising my two kids. And the fact that earmarks are only a small percentage of the overall bill, also does not hold water. If you have one earmark that adds one million dollars to the bill, thats still many times over the taxes I must pay in an entire lifetime. If the earmark is not related in any way to the bill, then it should not be there. If it's so important to you, initiate another bill and let it stand up under its' own merits.

JIM CARROLL INTERNET FREE PRESS   March 11th, 2009 8:36 pm ET

If your Congresswoman isn’t bringing home some pork, get rid of him or her and elect someone who can. What do these idiots think we elect them to do? Pork produces jobs.

Someone ought to get an earmark and study the bridge to nowhere to see how many jobs it created, how many pairs of shoes were sold, how many cars were bought, how many homes were sold, and how many tables was bread put on.


HOW CAN THE INTELLIGENTSIA OF AMERICA BE SO BLINDED that they cannot see that the Federal Government must have a money system that can create and maintain an equivalent ratio of money to the goods and services that its peoples’ hands and minds can produce? Nature’s Basic Law of Economics states: All goods and services flow from the action of people resources on natural resources— Money is the medium of exchange which should be equal to the value of the goods and services—and not to a gold standard or some other insane idea.


The question should be: are there people resources and natural resources available for both? Money can be created (Article 1, section 8, of the Constitution). When are we going to wake up?

We don’t have to be a NATION OF ECONOMICS IDIOTS.

Judith   March 11th, 2009 10:19 pm ET

What CNN should do is Run the names on the politicans that voted against the package but added their own earmarks like MSNBC did.

The % is higher for Republicans than the Dems.The GOPs had high $$ in earmarks but felt to go against the President anyway.

Carmella Lopez   March 11th, 2009 10:24 pm ET

Pork is an outrage! Just because the American public will know where the money is being squandered does not make it right! That is our tax money and it is not ok to use it for a small sector's gain. Taxes in America are not easy to pay. It is especially onerous in the poor economic climate most Americans are facing. Seniors like my husband and I are facing huge losses in money that took a life time to save. It is our view that times are tough in America and the bailouts may be necessary but not only we, but our children's children will be paying for these. Therefore our senators should be respectful and careful when spending it. It could also be their children's children who will be affected by their actions.

Eva Lehman   March 11th, 2009 10:35 pm ET

I was amazed at tonight's show ! Would someone please inform Mr. Clinton that EMBRYOs are already fertilized? They are human beings!
Mr. Clinton's comments about fertilizing embryos and determining which embryos would be fertilized made me wonder how he withstood 8 yrs. int he White House. And the comics say Mr. Bush is slow!

hugh ~ california   March 11th, 2009 10:44 pm ET

62 senators voted for the stimulus bill, 35 senators voted against the stimulus bill. 28 senators who voted AGAINST the measure had included their own earmarks. 27 of those 28 who have earmarks but voted against the stimulus bill were REPUBLICAN. They voted against it, but got their pork anyway. Now that is HYPOCRISY!

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