November 18th, 2010
09:51 PM ET

Ban on Earmarks?: Join the Live Chat

Lawmakers in both parties are now making a big deal out of banning earmarks. But is this political gamesmanship to avoid tough decisions needed to fix the nation's finances? We're Keeping Them Honest. Tests are being done on a jawbone found on the beach in Aruba – the island where Natalee Holloway was last seen in 2005. So is it Natalee? We'll put that question to a forensic scientist. Plus, our Amazing Animals series. Man's best friend is smarter than you think. Dog behavior expert Cesar Milan joins us.

Scroll down to join the live chat during the program. It's your chance to share your thoughts on tonight's headlines. Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

Here are some of them:

1) Keep it short (we don't have time to read a "book")
2) Don't write in ALL CAPS (there's no need to yell)
3) Use your real name (first name only is fine)
4) No links
5) Watch your language (keep it G-rated; PG at worst - and that includes $#&*)

Filed under: Live Blog
soundoff (110 Responses)
  1. Libby

    Charlie Rangel is using the Palin defense. "The press is against me". Oh boy.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  2. Robert Skeffington

    While I agree with the removal of Ear Mark spending, I think much more needs to be done to help our country and ailing economy. One of the best budget saving methods I recently heard, was a southern sheriff (I believe) and his $100K/year savings by charging the inmate under his care for condiments, a simple solution for those that shouldn’t be coddled to begin with, in my opinion. It’s time to think out of the box, and explore all possible options and save this country before it’s too late.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  3. Dottie

    If I didn't pay taxes for 17 years on anything I would be in jail.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:23 pm |
  4. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    I also disagree with Republican representive said, I can think Republican can commit their crimes if they lied to FBI or IRS!

    November 18, 2010 at 10:23 pm |
  5. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    The lead attorney is a Democrat. Of course he says there is no corruption.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:23 pm |
  6. Emily

    Rangel Broke his OWN rules!

    November 18, 2010 at 10:23 pm |
  7. Tom

    I estimate that I wrote hundreds of earmarks on behalf of Congressional appropriations committees while working in the Executive Branch of Government. I can assure you that most folks in this discussion have no idea of the level and complexity of these earmarks. The range may include perfectly legitimate appropriations committee actions which are contrary to outdated authorizing legislation in order to respond to emergencies, all the way to pure pork barrel set asides removed from the competitive process. This is a painfully complex subject which CANNOT be dealt with by simply saying there will be no earmarks.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:23 pm |
  8. Sharon Hastings

    It's the right punishment. Censure is a very serious decision.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:22 pm |
  9. Eduardo Cordova

    I just hate how every politician focuses on trying to gain support by through actions that don't make a difference.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:22 pm |
  10. Libby

    Mike, same thing with Mr. Ensign and Vitter. Protected by their party. Happens on both sides.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:22 pm |
  11. Emily

    But Rangel was the Head of the Ethics Committee!
    He should have been expelled for that reason.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:22 pm |
  12. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    Not paying taxes isn't unlawful?

    November 18, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  13. Trish

    By the way, earmarks are not "hidden" as stated on this blog. Their awards are made publicly available on the federal website dedicated to funding transparency and the process to request an earmark is available on every representative/senator's website Anyone can apply for an earmark.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  14. Mara Howard-Indiana

    Ear Marks- What the American people want is what what promised-Transparancy. We are aware that the government needs to spend money. We just want to know and have a right to know where are money is being spent.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  15. Libby

    I live in the top state for bringing home pork (Alaska) and unbelievably, those who run campaigns to cut pork are never elected. :-O

    November 18, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  16. Rochelle

    You keep talking about cuts in soc sec...worked 50yrs paying into soc sec...I resent the audacity that senators talking about cutting the little that I do get after so many years of hard work! Why does our society de-value our seniors!

    November 18, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  17. Kenn

    Regarding earmarks.....They should be kept and a fixed amount of money be given for them, say five million dollars to each member of Congress, and when the five million runs out, there is no more for that member of Congress.

    Earmarks enable localities to have things done locally that the local taxpayers wouldn't pay for or couldn't pay for....snow removal, additional school buses, keeping parks and recreational facilities open, etc.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  18. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    Exciting news that they may have found Natalee Holloway after five long years

    Yes, Me too....... I hope that body found animal or human what they check if it's Natalee Holloway, they will make for sure to be positive ID.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  19. Trish

    Not all earmarks are for local "pet" projects. Several are for national programs that would otherwise not survive, such as the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program and the National Juvenile Court Data Archive. Earmarks like these are provided to ensure that legislative mandates and requirements under the law are met year after year in a consistent and sustainable way that is not dependent on competitive grant programs that often fund the program or project du jour. Unfortunately, rhetoric has once again trumped evidence and reason and the American Public has once again been misled by those they have elected; this time on the subject of the "evil earmark".

    November 18, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  20. Martha Tirinnanzi

    Earmarks have been the way that politicians preserved their status. To what extent is the reality of deficit spending and our problematic economy influenced earmarks?

    November 18, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  21. Paul

    If they don't vote for putting an end to the pork it just demonstrates they're paying no attention to voters and they need to go! Not to mention they'll have no ability to do what is necessary for the future of this country.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  22. Emily

    I have no idea how someone "forgets to pay taxes on a home for 17years".
    He really looks defeated there, doesn't he?

    November 18, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  23. Nancy

    We have not heard anything about the congress cutting their salary or benefits. They should pay for their benefits just like those people on Social Security. Cut their pay!

    November 18, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  24. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    If the Democrats didn't protect him, Rangel would have been expelled.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  25. brad

    republicans all for ban on earmarks b4 election . now, today, i heard its VOLUNTARY!
    typical lies from congress

    November 18, 2010 at 10:17 pm |
  26. Lillie

    So nice to know that your female guest tonight believes Americans are "ignorant".

    November 18, 2010 at 10:17 pm |
  27. Sharon Hastings

    I had a dog that could recognize you spelling the word donut. Even spelling it, he would run into the kitchen and go beserk.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:17 pm |
  28. Dan

    I think that the problem with earmarks is not the cost of them, but the fact that they are used to get votes to pass a bill, not related to a bill, and are hidden from public view. What we need is to keep all content of a bill directly related to the topic of the bill.

    If an earmark is so depirately needed, it should be part of its own bill or budget item, no matter how small amount of it. We need to keep track of every penny that is spent by our Government transparently.

    Also, getting rid of earmarks is just a small step to bringing transparency to law making and budget development and spending. The next step is to really look at what is being spent and see if we can either eliminate it or reduce the cost of it.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
  29. Emily

    Some dogs are brilliant. Seeing-eye dogs, therapy dogs, etc. They really are fantastic.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:15 pm |
  30. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    Helloooo John, Megan, Isha, Jane, Martina, Nicole, Kim, Emily, Gloria, Mike, Casey, Milan, Vivan, Gabriela, Cessy, Paula, Isabel, David-Indiana, JoAnn, Monica, Kathy, Jane, Gayle, Renee, Caroline, (Danie), Lori, (Adelaide), Heather, BettyAnn, Starr, Sharon, A. Smith, Devin, Karin, Dulcie, Michael, Karen, Miranda, Sree, Nancy, Sue, Kenya, Libby, Nina, Samantha, others and my friend Facebook Bloggers!!!!
    Sorry to be late join with all of you!
    I also agree earmarks must end of war! 🙂

    November 18, 2010 at 10:15 pm |
  31. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    What should be an additional start is to roll back ALL spending to 2008 levels. Obama has increased discretionary spending by 20% in just 2 years.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:14 pm |
  32. Val

    The agreement to ban earmarks are non binding.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:14 pm |
  33. Emily

    If politicians would do what they said when elected, they wouldn't need to increase their popularity with the people. I think that the people would already be impressed.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:13 pm |
  34. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    John McCain has walked the walk for years, refusing all earmarks. Obama on the other hand was one of the biggest users in the Senate.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:12 pm |
  35. Libby

    That's amazing that when the Republicans are asked what they'd like to see cut - not one of them could name one single thing! :-O

    November 18, 2010 at 10:12 pm |
  36. Val

    Earmarks is a very very small piece of pie,it won't reduce the debt at all It reminds me just give them enough to keep the teabaggers quite..

    November 18, 2010 at 10:12 pm |
  37. Samantha Rowley - Nashville, TN

    Whatever the cuts may be (earmarks or the larger issues: SS, M'Care, Defense), it's going to painful for us (pardon the pun), but something has to be done and soon.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:11 pm |
  38. Dottie

    It may be a small start to ban earmarks, but at least it's a start.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:09 pm |
  39. Sharon Hastings

    None of them when asked would dare say they want to keep earmarks. Yeah, just cut social security and medicare and while you're at it make those appointments with our death panel.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:08 pm |
  40. Emily

    "Earmarks" are a 'drug' for politicians it seems! That's an appropriate analogy to me.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:08 pm |
  41. Emily

    @Sharon Hastings,
    I think Anderson is doing the "Heroes" show. I heard that the Chilean Miners were in town today.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:05 pm |
  42. Sue from Syracuse

    These Republicans are such total hypocrites!

    November 18, 2010 at 10:05 pm |
  43. Sue from Syracuse

    Earmarks are those "bad" tagless things without a stakeholder group attached.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:04 pm |
  44. Sue from Syracuse

    Absolutely political stunts.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:04 pm |
  45. Emily

    it's "symbolic"

    November 18, 2010 at 10:03 pm |
  46. Sue from Syracuse

    Good evening John Roberts! Fellow bloggers!

    November 18, 2010 at 10:03 pm |
  47. Sharon Hastings

    Good evening to John Roberts and everyone. Maybe Anderson is recovering from his famous bunny suit show.

    As long as I can remember they have all said they would ban earmarks. We still have them and I expect we will continue to have them.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:02 pm |
  48. Libby

    Happy Thursday everyone! :O)

    November 18, 2010 at 10:01 pm |
  49. Samantha Rowley - Nashville, TN

    Good evening everyone! Fiscal responsibility is exactly what needs to happen in Congress the next two years.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:01 pm |
  50. Emily

    Good evening John Roberts, 360°Team, Jo Ann, David, Megan, Nancy, Nicole, Gloria, Casey, Starr, & Bloggers!
    Exciting news that they may have found Natalee Holloway after five long years.

    November 18, 2010 at 10:00 pm |
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