Congressman Jim Cooper

Representing the 5th District of Tennessee
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Cooper Bill Would Ban Earmarks for Good

Jul 30, 2015
Press Release
Pet Projects Have No Place in Congressional Spending Process

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) and U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney (SC-05) today introduced the Earmark Elimination Act of 2015. The bipartisan bill would ban earmarks permanently from the legislative process.

Earmarks are directed spending items, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits that are targeted to a specific entity. In recent years, Congress has passed brief moratoriums on earmarks, but the bans must be renewed. Meanwhile, business as usual has continued in Washington; some Members of Congress – aiming to fund pet projects – continue to explore ways to bypass obstacles to earmarks.

“Earmarks are what folks hate about politics – wasteful spending for Congress’ pet projects,” Rep. Cooper said. “There is a lot of talk about bringing earmarks back, but that’s just rewarding Congress for bad behavior. It’s time to crack down and ban earmarks forever.”

“There’s been talk recently about bringing back earmarks in the House,” Rep. Mulvaney said. “That’s a slap in the face of good governance and I am proud to help lead the effort to ban earmarks for good. This bill would codify the earmark ban by making it law, not just a rule in the House.”

The Earmark Elimination Act would prohibit the House from considering legislation containing earmarks, and it would strip any earmarks found in legislation being considered by the House before it may proceed.

In addition to the Earmark Elimination Act, Cooper this Congress has reintroduced his No Budget, No Pay bill and the Taxpayers Right-to-Know Act, which passed the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee last week.

Earmark Infographic