A Wisconsin Congressman is calling for reforms to earmark spending in Washington
Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI) says abuse of the earmark system has eroded the public trust. He says the 2006 fiscal year reached a new record in earmark spending, with $29 billion spent on nearly 10,000 projects.
The Wisconsin Democrat is sponsoring legislation that creates a commission to investigate potential reforms. The panel would prepare a report, which Congress would then use to implement reform. Kind wants changes to include reducing the disparity in earmark spending, limiting the impact on the federal budget, and controlling how the executive branch hands out large payments on what are basically "no-bid" contracts for programs.
Kind says the Democrat-controlled Congress has made progress so far in reducing earmarks, by implementing a moratorium on them in 2007 budget and cutting them in half for 2008. However, Kind says further reforms are needed.