Ban on Earmarks Doesn’t Include Young

By Libby Casey

Republicans in the U-S House agreed last week to a one year ban on all earmarks.  But Alaska Congressman Don Young says he does not support his party’s decision.    Young says he’ll keep trying to secure funding for specific projects.

I’ve been elected to represent my people and i’m gonna do that.  And if they ask me, I’m going to do my best to fulfill my obligations to them to respond to their needs.

A day earlier Democrats chose to ban earmarks to for-profit companies.  Young complains both parties were playing politics, not trying to make a real difference.

It’s political posturing.  The Democrats came out with they’re gonna only going to give earmarks to non-profits deal, municipalities, etc, etc .  Which is most of my earmarks.  Like the Bridge to Nowhere is a municipality earmark.

Then the Republicans came back and said we won’t have any earmarks period, there’s a moratorium.  Now I argue that if you read the constitution, the constitution says only Congress has the right to spend money or appropriate money, and to collect money, not the president or the bureaucracy.

The “Bridges to Nowhere” projects in Alaska were used by critics as symbols of what they called wasteful spending and excess.  They would connect Gravina Island with Ketchikan and its airport, and cross the Knik Arm.  Neither has been built.  Congress yanked the funding for the 220 million dollar Gravina Island project in 2005.

Last week the leader of House Republicans, Ohio Congressman John Boehner, called earmarks a “symbol of broken Washington.”


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