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Archive for Saturday, August 9, 2008

Senate candidate highlights proposal for earmark changes

August 9, 2008

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— Democratic Senate candidate Jim Slattery is proposing a one-year moratorium on funding earmarks in federal budget legislation.

Slattery said Friday that such a moratorium would give Congress an opportunity to enact "meaningful" reforms. Rules enacted in 2007 were designed to make more information public about earmarks in legislation, but Slattery wants Congress to go further.

"We must find ways to significantly cut wasteful government spending," Slattery said, noting that the projected federal budget deficit for the next fiscal year is $482 billion.

Slattery outlined a plan for dealing with earmarks, which included faster disclosure by lawmakers of the funding they seek. He also said funding should be based on merit.

Slattery is running against Republican Sen. Pat Roberts, who is seeking his third term. Roberts spokeswoman Molly Haase noted that the senator publicly discloses the earmarks he has received and said he's worked with members of both parties to reform budgeting.

"Senator Roberts has already achieved bipartisan reform in this area," she said. "What was talked about today would be redundant."

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