Murkowski statement on earmark ban: Against.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, who appears to have won re-election as a write-in candidate, released the following statement tonight:

“Senate Republicans today adopted a non-binding resolution to ban congressional earmarks. I was unable to vote on the resolution because my re-election has not yet been certified, but had I been able to vote, I would have opposed the earmark ban.

“The notion that Congress would abdicate its constitutional duty and turn federal spending over to government bureaucrats is wrong and goes against the Constitution’s mandate that says the power of the purse lies with the legislative branch of government. Furthermore, an earmark moratorium will not reduce the level of spending by one cent or decrease the deficit. We recognize that we need to stop out-of-control spending, but let’s make sure that the action we take actually translates into spending and deficit reduction rather than just messaging.”

“I believe that runaway federal spending must be cut. But once a top line budget number is set, I will always fight hard to ensure that Alaska receives its fair share through an open and transparent appropriations process. At the end of the day, an earmark moratorium is nothing more than a shell game that moves the money and the decision-making responsibility from Congress to the bureaucracy.

“I am also glad to report that the Alaska congressional delegation is united on this issue.”

So rejoice at Murkowski’s re-election. And that last bit, about the unity of the state’s delegation, is especially amusing. Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, inserted earmarks into a bill after it had passed both houses of Congress. (No, that’s not technically legal.)

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