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Dr. Coburn to Force Vote on Earmark Moratorium


Location: Washington, DC

Amendment Could Be Attached to Food Safety Legislation

U.S. Senator Tom Coburn today announced his intention to force the U.S. Senate to hold a public vote on an earmark moratorium on the first legislative vehicle to move through the chamber. Such a vote could happen as early as Wednesday when the Senate is scheduled to vote on a motion to proceed to food safety legislation.

"The American people have sent a clear message that it is time for this body to make hard choices and live within our means. Imposing a moratorium on earmarks is an important step that will -- as a matter of symbol and substance -- begin a new era of sobriety in Washington," Dr. Coburn said. "President Obama, the debt commission and the American people -- by a 2 to 1 margin -- all agree it is time to end this practice. America did just fine for 200 years without earmarks and Congress will do just fine without them as we begin the hard work of putting our nation on a sustainable path."

"By moving to the food safety bill Senator Reid is picking up where he left off before the election -- growing the size and scope of government and saddling our grandchildren with more debt. But the American people have repudiated Washington's business as usual practices and are demanding fiscal responsibility," Dr. Coburn said. "Senator Reid will have an important choice between holding a transparent vote on earmarks and obstructing the American people's desire for fiscal sanity. Nothing is more relevant or germane than beginning the hard work of getting our fiscal house in order. No bill should move before Senators vote on this matter, particularly a bill that continues the borrow-and-spend status quo voters rejected."

"Republicans have the chance to lead by example and agree to an earmark moratorium within the GOP conference. Our vote should be public but if it is secret, I would respectfully tell my Republican colleagues that they won't have the option of keeping their votes a secret. The American people simply won't accept "no comment' for an answer and will ask hard questions of anyone who's private and public votes don't appear to line up," Dr. Coburn said.

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