April 16th, 2008
12:43 PM ET

Earmark update: Presidential politics saves taxpayers millions

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Drew Griffin
Special Investigations Unit Correspondent

We’re waiting to find out if the U.S. Senator’s earmark requests this year will jam the Senate Appropriations computer. The deadline for getting those pet project requests in is next Friday, April 25. And if the requests are anything like their counterparts in the House, the computer will experience a “slow down”, as house staffers called it, due to the load of pet projects being requested.

But we’ve learned there is going to be a significant taxpayer savings from at least two U.S. Senators. Which two? Guess?

Senator Barak Obama, who last year requested 112 federal funding projects worth $330 million dollars, will have NO requests this year. He made the announcement while saying he no longer believes in the earmark process. What a difference a year makes.

Not one to fall too far behind the candidate she is chasing, Senator Hillary Clinton’s staff told us the Senator from New York is scaling back her requests, too. While not releasing her requests to CNN, the Senator’s staff sent a message saying the Senator will limit her earmarks to “the most critical needs for New York and America.” Last year Clinton’s requests amounted to $342 million.

So depending on how much Sen. Clinton scales back, and given Sen. Obama is saying no earmarks at all, the race for the democratic nomination may have just saved taxpayers nearly $700 million dollars.


Filed under: Earmarks • Keeping Them Honest
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Wava Meenan

    Interesting Post, highly informative at the least. Keep up your good work bro/lad. hehe Much Love

    September 13, 2010 at 12:59 pm |
  2. Jeanette Loos

    I am not totally against earmarks,but I think there should be a spending cap in place and these earmarks carefully reviewed.I honestly do not understand why our politicians have to lie about what they can actually do if they become president of the united states.
    The most crucial problem we have in this country,(my opinion),is we need to bring our manufactors back to the united states,or tax them heavily so it wont be profitable for them to do business overseas,get rid of nafta,Bring our minimum wage up so people can have a better life.
    Get gas prices under control,and admit to the people why it has skyrocked.We the american ,are a residual people and can put our backs to the wall,pull together, and work for a common goal if our goverment officials are doing t he same thing .It is extremely sad to know that people in this once great countrty now have to choose wheather to buy gas ,food or medications.So ,"Big Government",give us back our pride,give us back our logo,(Made in America).We all would like to go to a store and buy clothes,etc that have the made in american label.

    July 1, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  3. janie

    some ear marks are good and much needed, bears dna=no

    April 24, 2008 at 10:37 am |
  4. Jim

    It is amazing that Obama and Clinton seem to paint themselves as the beacon of hope for tax payers when the two of them, particularly, Obama, seem to keep voicing the need for more government programs and taxation. It would be better if our nation either institutes a flat tax of 10% across the board and send grants to private firms to institute government mandated programs than expand the government. Go McCain!

    April 22, 2008 at 7:57 pm |
  5. lee from Treasure Island Fl

    We still have not seen Hillary's earmarks from last year... yet Obama posted his for all tax payers to see.
    This year he followed McCains lead and has ZERO earmarks...which with an economy as our...we can not afford a single one
    Yet we still have not heard crap Mrs. Clinton... but spin.
    And that debate last night... was not a debate...it was more like 52 minutes of an integration by ABC moderators with Hillary as their key assistant. What sham. A disgrace for anyone who tuned in. Flag pin...Hillary was 5 ft away without a flag pin on, John McCain does not wear one, nor Edwards(he wears out ward bound pin in honor of his dead son), Rev Wright, bitter, and Ayers ....what a joke. Where are the issues... this was tabloids.

    April 17, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  6. Janna

    So Obama changed his view completely on this issue? Whatever happened to "Judgement from day one?"
    If she lets him get away with this, after the way he exploited her supposed flipped position on the war, she kinda deserves to lose...

    April 16, 2008 at 10:31 pm |
  7. Annie Kate

    I hate to be cynical but for Clinton to cut back her earmarks and Obama eliminate is in an election year where both are running a hotly contested campaign is not impressive – it just seems like one more political trick to gull the voters into thinking they represent real change and savings to the nation. John McCain has not asked for earmarks for YEARS – that is believable and impressive to know that he actually practices what he preaches not only in an election year but in all the other years as well.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    April 16, 2008 at 9:26 pm |
  8. Rob, Arvada, CO

    Barack Obama raised "all-in" with no ear-marks. Sorry, Hillary, you lose all your chips!

    April 16, 2008 at 7:58 pm |
  9. Kent, Illinois

    If Hillary had any chance at going against McCain in November she would not have any earmarks this time. She knows her bid for the presidency is all over. She may as well get all she can for New York.

    Obama will have no earmarks because he knows McCain will not have any this time.

    Obama 08

    April 16, 2008 at 7:28 pm |
  10. Sarah

    Drew...thanks for keeping on this story.

    April 16, 2008 at 7:24 pm |
  11. AZM

    700 million... Wow...
    Now if they would just stick to the campaign promise for funding like they said prior... but that's before the money started rolling in!

    We pay before they get there... and for years after... gotta love politicians

    April 16, 2008 at 5:59 pm |
  12. Bryan Price

    I'm tired of hearing about earmarks.

    The 800 pound gorilla in the room is the war and how much we're spending on it. It's truly sad that the talk is about so little of the actual budget, and the budget buster isn't even put on the books!

    I'll start worrying about earmarks when they actually start to become major parts of the budget.

    Jacksonville, Florida

    April 16, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  13. Mrs. R.

    *While not releasing her requests to CNN, the Senator’s staff sent a message saying the Senator will limit her earmarks to “the most critical needs for New York and America.”*

    Sad. If Senator Clinton isn't willing to make public her requests, then perhaps they shouldn't be made at all. Secrecy doesn't build trust. I equate secrecy w/sneakiness and that's not a leadership style I support.

    We the public provide the money and I want to know how it's spent.

    I agree that earmarks need to go.

    April 16, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  14. Paris

    CNN why my comments on this are not being posted?
    This is my 3rd time.
    Wow! I can’t believe that you wrote this on Earmark and you FAILED to mention that John McCain had none 000000.
    CNN you need to have more respect for your audience. This is very wrong.
    I like to know why you didn’t mention the fact that John McCain hadn’t asked for ANY Earmark for many years?
    CNN why?
    CNN I dare you to post this.

    April 16, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
  15. Joe Q. Public

    Earmarks will be a forgotten issue after the election. It is doubtful the members of congress will go along with any attempt to curb earmarks which are allowed by the constitution. This should be filed under pandering.

    April 16, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  16. Susan

    I believe Senator Obama over Senator Clinton any day. Senator McCain already requests no earmarks. What about the rest.?

    We the citizens of each state are just as responsible. We keep sending these same politicians back to Washington.

    All politics are local. To curb this feasting, it will all have to start at the local level in each state. The president should also be given a line item veto, so that he/she can strike out the pork hiding in any bill passed by the Congress.


    April 16, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  17. Joseph Kowalski, North Huntingdon, PA

    I'd be more impressed if either of these candidates had lead the charge to do away with all legislative pet project requests by introducing a bill to do so, and fighting for it's passage.

    April 16, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  18. Doug Pierson Tohatchi, NM

    All I can say is AH FOOEY!

    April 16, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  19. Melissa

    I don't believe a word from Hillary's camp. I remember last year's earmark blogs where she never responded to CNN. Now that she feels pressure from Obama's camp, she's trying to sell us she's scaling back. What does it matter when we the people aren't given the information as to what she has earmarked.

    April 16, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  20. xtina

    great. now why don't they both show support for an immediate cutting of the fed. gasoline tax? that is such a simple, quick way for washington to show they care.

    April 16, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  21. Taj

    Drew, $700 million is just the tip of the iceberg. Govt collects trillions of dollors in the form of taxes from people, corporations. We need to hold them responsible for every dollor they waste. Pet projects, ear mark, pork barrel, military, GSA, farm subsidies, welfare, grants to foreign govt etc to name a few. Our SS, medicare, infrastructure, food, city govts, state govts, fed govt etc, etc are all falling part. We need to spend our $$ to people in the US for our social programs, creating a Robust economy.

    April 16, 2008 at 1:37 pm |

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