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Rep. Boebert Fights Against Earmarks, Corruption, and Government Waste

March 10, 2021

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Lauren Boebert (CO-03), Senator Ted Cruz (TX), and Reps. Ted Budd (NC-13), Andy Biggs (AZ-05), and Chip Roy (TX-21) led a coalition of 10 Senators and 25 House members on a letter opposing the reintroduction of earmarks.

Representative Lauren Boebert (CO-03) stated: “The American people are tired of the D.C. way. At a time when our projected deficit for 2021 is $2.3 trillion, it is wrong that career politicians want to line their own pockets by using earmarks to pay off campaign donors and special-interest groups. Tax dollars are not politicians’ personal wallets, and they should stop treating them as such.”

Representative Andy Biggs (AZ-05) stated: “Republicans and Conservatives should oppose the radical left’s attempt to resuscitate earmarks. Bringing back earmarks will further pollute the infested swamp that is governing Congress.”

Representative Chip Roy (TX-21) stated: “Earmarks are a corrupting influence that encourage vote-buying and the reckless spending of money we do not have in the name of bringing home resources to the district.  I am proud to join my colleagues in leading this letter to urge committee leadership not to return to this practice.”


Representative Lauren Boebert (CO-03) wrote an op-ed demonstrating the wastefulness and corruption that earmarks create. There is a reason that bi-partisan reformers placed a moratorium on earmarks, and it is sad that certain members of Congress are trying to go back to their old ways. 

Read the full text of the letter.

Dear Chairman Leahy and Chairwoman DeLauro:

Recent news reports have suggested that you both plan to announce the return of earmarks in the coming weeks under the term “member-directed spending.” We are writing to strongly oppose resurrecting what is widely considered one of the most wasteful and corrupt practices in Congressional history.

As you know, the 2000s were marred by infamous earmarks like the Alaskan “Bridge to Nowhere,” an indoor rainforest in Iowa, a Teapot Museum, and absurd research projects like analyzing goth culture. The wide-spread practice of earmarks was corrupting. Earmarks were used to buy and sell votes and reward favors. Earmarks brought discredit on the House and Senate and ultimately led to several Members of Congress being convicted on corruption charges. In order to restore public trust in Congress, the practice of earmarking was officially put on a moratorium in 2011 under Republican leadership.

Nothing epitomizes what’s wrong with Washington more than pork-barrel spending in the form of congressional earmarks. According to the taxpayer watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste, Congress has doled out more than 111,000 earmarks worth more than $375 billion since 1991.

Earmarks are also used as the grease to help enable Washington’s spending addiction. They have been used as a quasi-legalized form of bribery to entice members of Congress to approve large spending packages that increase our deficit and explode the national debt. In an era of trillion-dollar deficits and a $27 trillion debt, it is hard to imagine how we will ever be able to restore any form of financial responsibility if big spenders in the halls of Congress are able to use earmarks to keep spending money we don’t have.

We cannot imagine a worse way to build back trust in Congress than to resurrect a system that has been roundly rejected as corruptive and wasteful for decades. After four years of a president who promised to “drain the swamp,” Democrats seem intent on filling it up with pork-barrel spending in the form of earmarks. Bringing back earmarks would be a grave mistake for Congress and future generations of taxpayers.