November 18th, 2016
U.S. Senator McCaskill’s Newsletter 11/17/16
Yesterday, just days after Donald Trump was elected with a promise to "drain the swamp," Republican leadership in the U.S. House held a closed-door meeting to try to bring back congressional earmarks.
Earmarks—provisions that send your tax dollars to Washington for politicians' pet projects—were temporarily banned in 2011 after I worked with colleagues in both parties to stop them. Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and I are still working today to pass our bipartisan Earmark Elimination Act, which would make that ban permanent.
Read my message to House GOP on Medium
I've always opposed earmarks. I've never requested an earmark.
And I won't let us go backwards.
That's why I called on House Leadership and our Missouri delegation to reject yesterday's vote. And while I was glad to see Speaker Ryan step up at the last minute to stop the vote, that earmark ban was almost overturned. Behind closed doors. Without any public debate. This fight isn't over. The Speaker has promised to revisit the issue early next year but I can't for the life of me figure out why they thought it was a good idea to begin with.
READ: Kansas City Star: ‘Drain the swamp?' Claire McCaskill already has her doubts
Congress is a more accountable and transparent institution for having gotten rid of earmarks—and the U.S. House leadership's attempt yesterday to bring them back without public discussion or a vote is unacceptable.
I have made rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse a cornerstone of my work in the Senate, and I'm not giving up now.
Learn more about my fight to improve government accountability and transparency at mccaskill.senate.gov/spending.
All the best,