Congressman Jim Cooper released the following statement after announcing that he would not seek earmarks in FY2010 appropriation bills:
"In last five months, our economy has lost 3.3 million jobs. These are tough times for all Americans. So when Congress spends taxpayer money, we should be spending it on projects that get the economy moving again. While some earmarks create jobs, many just get members of Congress reelected-and in some cases, investigated by the FBI.
"Instead of earmarks based on Washington politics, we need full transparency and a fair system to fund projects that put people to work. That's why I've been working with colleagues to address the backlog of federal courthouses that are ready to be built around the country. In Nashville, we have a courthouse project that's shovel-ready and long overdue; it just needs funding. I'd rather see Congress spend taxpayer money on that project before we dole out any more earmarks."