U.S. Senators Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) and Mark Udall (D-CO) today began circulating a bipartisan letter in support of the moratorium on congressional earmarking. The senators are urging members in the House and Senate to sign. The text of the letter is below:
More than three years ago, members of Congress in both chambers from both parties stood together to impose a moratorium on the practice of congressional earmarking.
The American people celebrated this bipartisan leadership. But, recently, we have noted that members on both sides of the aisle are calling for a return to earmarking. We believe this would be unwise and would further damage Congress' reputation and ability to tackle the nation's challenges.
We recognize there are a wide range of views on this subject in our caucuses but we believe it is important to reaffirm our support for this policy. Congress has ample flexibility to exercise its power of the purse and represent the interests of our constituents without using earmarks. For instance, the appropriations process under regular order and our oversight authority gives members ample opportunity to set priorities and vet decisions with their elected peers.
We therefore urge you to pledge your continued support for the earmark moratorium and do everything in your power to work together to address the nation's highest priorities without the unhelpful distraction of earmarks.
Here is a list of the members who have signed on:
Senators McCain, Lee