Yesterday, while speaking on the Senate floor, Sen. Inhofe (R-OK) highlighted the earmark reforms that TCS developed with other organizations and lobbying interests. TCS agrees that those provisions would have been a step forward from the status quo, but the moratorium represents an opportunity to make giant leaps forward (see TCS’ own recommendations). A moratorium is a means to an end. While in place, the moratorium will help concentrate the mind of lawmakers and staff to come up with accountable, transparent, merit, competitive and formula systems to allocate federal funding. They can work with the executive branch to develop the metrics and criteria, and then haul agencies before congressional hearings to make their spending decisions accountable.
Furthermore, now that Congress is stepping away from the earmarking business, they can increase scrutiny and transparency of the full federal budget, so that taxpayers know where their money is being spent and why.
Full CSPAN coverage can be found here.
Other TCS earmark resources:
4. Earmark FAQ