In their Roll Call op-ed, Cambria Press series editors Scott Frisch and Sean Kelly and John Porter (former Member of Congress and Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education) recommended “restoring the power of the purse to the Congress” because this “will allow members of Congress to fully represent the interests of the constituents, and restore the balance between Congress and the executive branch envisioned by the framers of the Constitution. Restoring the power to direct spending also provides an opportunity to reach out to legislators on votes for their support, investing them in passing difficult legislation.” They recognized that “there were some serious abuses in the past, but these reforms form the basis for restoring the power of the purse to Congress, and improving public trust in Congress.” Read the entire op-ed.
Frisch and Kelly have much experience on earmarks given the years of research they have dedicated. In their highly praised book Jimmy Carter and the Water Wars (which won the CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title award), they noted that “[v]iewed in retrospect, this particular battle between Congress and President Carter over appropriations for the water projects was years in the making. Jimmy Carter campaigned and won the presidency as an anti-Washington outsider who was especially critical of Congress, rankling many members of Congress. He was swept into office on a promise to shrink rising budget deficits and to balance the budget by the end of his four-year term. He pledged to restore fiscal discipline by reducing wasteful government spending. Balancing the budget was possible, he argued, by reducing wasteful congressional spending.” They added that “[b]y confronting Congress over their funding of water projects, Jimmy Carter offered the first salvo in the war against congressional earmarks and pork barrel spending.”
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