I would love to see the Republican Party try to remove the progenitor of the Tea Party movement from all his committees. They should really take a stand and do that, it’ll do wonders for the 2010 elections.
According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Reps. Anh “Joseph” Cao of Louisiana and Ron Paul of Texas have joined Rep. Don Young (AK) in requesting earmarks for the 2011 fiscal year, despite a House Republican caucus vote this month to institute a moratorium on earmarks for one year.
Those members’ committee assignments could be on the line, according to a spokesman for House Minority Leader John Boehner.
“The Leaders expect all House Republican members to comply with the moratorium,” the spokesman, Michael Steel, said in an email. “There will be situations where we have some confusion on how these rules are implemented, but if Members are deliberately breaking the rules, it will be a serious matter and one that the Steering Committee will consider.”
I cannot wait for the word back to the Tea Party community that Ron Paul just got tossed off of all his committees. I’m sure that would energize this new base.
The thing is, if you listen to Paul’s spokesman, he’s pretty much right on this issue:
Paul spokeswoman Rachel Mills said he thinks Washington already extracts too much money from his constituents, and “part of his job is to work hard in Washington, D.C., to get that money back to those constituents in any form that he can.” She said Paul also believes that earmarking is more transparent than the regular budget process because you know exactly where the money goes and that it doesn’t affect the total amount appropriated by one dime.
Yes, this conflicts with libertarian ideology in part, but not in the whole. I don’t think almost any attention should be paid to the ridiculous earmark issue, which accounts for around 1% of the federal budget. But to the extent there is attention, Paul is correct. No earmark affects total appropriations. And failing to earmark does leave appropriations up to the federal government and the related executive agencies to determine where the money goes. You can see a list of Paul’s earmark requests here.
The entire drama over earmarks is silly, so if it results in Ron Paul losing committee assignments and the GOP leadership having to explain that and have this debate, all the better.