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Ethics Bill Guts Earmark Disclosure

July 31, 2007

DeMint Calls on Senators to Support Amendment to Restore Real Earmark Reform


homepest.JPGWASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) made following statement Monday after reviewing the new Lobbying and Ethics Bill:


“There’s a lot of smoke and mirrors in the new ethics bill, but upon a close look its obvious that earmark transparency reforms have been eviscerated.  Senator Reid has given himself and a few committee chairmen the authority to determine whether congressional earmarks have been properly disclosed to the public.  My office has confirmed this with the Senate Parliamentarian. Under this bill, the American people would be forced to trust Senator Reid and Senator Byrd – two of the biggest earmarkers in the Senate – to certify earmark disclosure.  This bill allows the fox to guard the henhouse and makes a joke of ethics reform.”


“I will offer an amendment to this bill to restore real earmark reform, and I hope all of my colleagues will support it.  The culture of earmarks is what drives the culture of corruption, and if we don’t fix the earmark rules in this bill, we will continue to have business as usual in Washington.”


“This bill is nothing more than the status quo, allowing every chairman to decide whether to disclose earmarks or not.  Senator Byrd has already ‘certified’ that he is complying with disclosure now, but an independent group, Taxpayers for Common Sense, already showed that $7.5 billion in earmarks have been undisclosed. The favor factory is still open and ready for business.”



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