2 Republicans won't sign earmark report

March 9, 2009 at 8:40 PM
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WASHINGTON, March 9 (UPI) -- Two members of the House Republican Select Committee on Earmark Reform say they won't sign off on the panel's recommendations, calling them toothless.

The Hill reported Monday that Republican Reps. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Mike Simpson of Idaho said the committee's report won't lead to significant reforms to the way lawmakers request funding for special projects.

"Frankly I think it's show, I haven't signed it for the same reason as Flake, because I don't think it really does anything," Simpson said of the report. "Even though we're on different points of view on the earmark reform thing, if you're going to do something, it oughta mean something -- otherwise don't do it."

Flake said House approval of a $410 billion omnibus that included 9,000 earmarks -- 4,000 of which were requested by Republicans -- speaks to Republicans' willingness to overhaul the earmark process.

"Had we done something before the omnibus or whether we do something after the omnibus it doesn't matter much because the omnibus said all that needed to be said about our commitment to earmark reform," Flake told the newspaper.

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