Dan Benishek: "I Support the House GOP's Request to "End Earmarks'"

Press Release

Date: Oct. 7, 2010
Location: Iron Mountain, MI

Iron Mountain Surgeon Asks Opponent to Take a Public Position on Lame Duck Earmarks

Dr. Dan Benishek, candidate for Congress in Michigan's 1st District, today endorsed the position announced by House Republicans, saying "earmarks for for-profit companies are generally bad, but earmarks in a lame duck session are a slap in the voters' faces."

Last month, Dr. Benishek released a statement pledging not to support "for-profit" earmarks and challenged his opponent to do the same saying, "Congress has no business spending tax money collected from across the nation on items that benefit a very small number of voters, or worse, a private company. These earmarks are designed to get votes for a member of Congress to ensure his or her re-election."

"Washington's career politicians got America into this fiscal mess, so it is not surprisingly that career politicians like Gary McDowell go silent in when it comes to standing up to indefensible spending schemes like for-profit earmarks. If Gary McDowell was serious about protecting taxpayers, he would stand up to Speaker Pelosi and make his opposition to lame duck spending clear," noted campaign spokesman Trent Benishek.

Dr. Benishek added, "It's just another arrogant act for the House Democratic Leadership to refuse to act before the election, but then attempt to sneak a massive spending bill past the voters in a lame duck session. I share the GOP view that "at a minimum, taxpayers should be protected from thousands of unvetted earmarks, produced by a process driven by a spoils system, being stuffed into any end-of-year appropriations measure and shielded from review.'"[1]

On Tuesday, House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH), and 56 other House Republicans, sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) urging that no earmarks be included in the massive omnibus spending bill the Democratic majority appears likely to try to pass during a "lame duck" session next month, after the November election.

House Republican leaders have also called for an end to the practice of passing "omnibus" spending bills, arguing such bills make it difficult to cut spending and too easy to shield spending projects from public scrutiny and debate. The GOP "Pledge to America" calls for immediate action on spending cuts and a series of congressional reforms to help fight unnecessary spending.[2]

[1] Letter to Speaker N. Pelosi from Minority Leader John Boehner and GOP Members, 10/05/2010.

[2] GOP Pledge to America.