Earmark Transparency


In March the New Direction Congress® announced a ban on earmarks for businesses. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was brimming with pride:

When Democrats assumed the majority of Congress in 2007, we pledged to place people ahead of lobbyists and the public interest before special interests. Over the last three years, we fought to replace a culture of corruption with a new direction of transparency and accountability, including earmark reforms in the last Congress. 

Today's proposal totally bans corporate earmarks—critical reform that addresses concerns that many Americans have. It ensures that for-profit companies no longer reap the rewards of congressional earmarks and limits the influence of lobbyists on Members of Congress. This ban will ensure good stewardship of taxpayer dollars by the federal government across all agencies.

The ban had an immediate impact. Companies can no longer obtain millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies simply by persuading a congressman to slip a few words into a spending bill. Now they have to set up a nonprofit front group first.