Earmarks | St. Louis Public Radio


McCaskill, Blunt at odds on permanent earmark ban

Sep 22, 2019

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 24, 2013 - WASHINGTON – Warning that U.S. Senate leaders may be planning to bring back earmarks, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill on Thursday revived her legislation from last year that would impose a permanent ban on such pet projects.

“I think [earmarking] is a ‘gateway drug,’ and I fear a relapse” in Congress, McCaskill, D-Mo., told reporters at a news conference. In the last Congress, both the Senate and House imposed a temporary moratorium on earmarks, but the Senate has yet to do so this year.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Update 9/27/12 9:30 AM with response from Akin campaign.

The Missouri Democratic Party has filed ethics complaints against Todd Akin, alleging wrongdoing for coordinating with a Super PAC in exchange for campaign cash.

Two complaints were filed against Akin by the party:

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 7, 2012 - U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill had a simple message for a group of business leaders who may be hesitant to vote Democratic in November: Give it a chance this time around.

(via Flickr/Senator McCaskill)

Senator Claire McCaskill says she is disappointed that a permanent ban on earmarks failed in the U.S. Senate Thursday.

The Missouri Democrat and a Republican colleague, Pat Toomey from Pennsylvania, attempted to attach the ban as an amendment to a bill outlawing insider trading by Congress. The attempt fell short of the 60 votes needed.

In a recorded statement provided by the Senator's office, McCaskill called earmarking a flawed process.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 2, 2012 - WASHINGTON - The U.S. Senate on Thursday rejected, in a 59-40 vote, an effort by Sens. Claire McCaskill and Pat Toomey to ban permanently the practice of earmarking -- that is, channeling funds to specific favored projects.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 31, 2012 - Republican U.S. Senate candidate John Brunner faced more Democratic fire -- much of it laced with humor -- Monday with his decision not to participate in a scheduled debate with rivals Sarah Steelman and Todd Akin.

But Brunner, a wealthy St. Louis businessman, countered by making his own news: He provided the documents that confirm he already has spent over $1 million on his campaign -- most of it out of his own pocket.

(Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio)

A report issued Monday by Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri concludes that US House members circumvented a ban on earmark spending more than 100 times. (read full report here)

House Republicans banned earmarks last fall for two years to curb government spending. But, McCaskill's report finds that the Republican chairman of the House Armed Services Committee used tricks to allow more than $800 million in earmarks be inserted in the 2012 Defense authorization bill.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 12, 2011 -WASHINGTON - Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., issued a staff report on Monday contending that 115 spending proposals in the House-passed defense bill, worth $834 million, were "earmarks" that appear to violate a congressional moratorium on such favored projects.

But a spokesman for the House Armed Services Committee told the Beacon on Monday that those provisions would not be part of the compromise House-Senate defense bill because House appropriators had not provided funding for the section of the legislation that included them. The spokesman denied that the provisions were earmarks. 

(via Flickr/Senator McCaskill)

Missouri's Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill introduced legislation Wednesday to put a permanent ban on earmarks, the legislative practice of funding specific projects.

Currently, there is a temporary ban on earmarks in place.

Speaking to reporters during a conference call this morning, McCaskill says projects need to compete on merit.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 30, 2011 - WASHINGTON - Warning that some lawmakers are trying to do end runs around the temporary moratorium on earmarks, U.S. Sens. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., introduced a bill Wednesday that would impose a permanent ban.

Senate defeats McCaskill-backed earmark amendment

Nov 30, 2010

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 30, 2010 - WASHINGTON - The Senate on Tuesday defeated an amendment -- whose most outspoken Democratic proponent was U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. -- that would have imposed a three-year moratorium on congressional earmarks to spending bills.

The 39-56 vote against the amendment, offered by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., to a food safety bill, fell far short of the 67 votes that would have been required to suspend Senate rules and approve it. However, earmark opponents indicated afterward that the test vote -- with 10 more senators supporting the earmark ban than had backed a similar measure in March -- may encourage future efforts to limit earmarks.

McCaskill, Bond, Blunt take stands on earmarks

Nov 17, 2010

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 17, 2010 - WASHINGTON - The effort to stop congressional earmarks -- appropriations for specific projects that legislators insert into spending bills -- picked up steam Tuesday when Senate Republicans agreed to an earmark "moratorium" and U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., vowed to offer an amendment to ban them outright.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 16, 2010 - WASHINGTON - The earmarks requested in the Senate appropriations bills for fiscal year 2011 by U.S. Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond, R-Mo, include millions of dollars for projects in the St. Louis region, ranging from library renovation to highway exchanges to neonatal incubators. Following are the major earmarks:

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 16, 2010 - U.S. Senator-elect Roy Blunt's stance on earmarks -- which was squishy during his successful campaign -- should be in sharper focus today as the southwest Missouri Republican casts his vote later today during a GOP caucus meeting on whether to support a moratorium on the practice.

Paying close attention are St. Louis Tea Party activists -- and their progressive rivals. Both camps have been Tweeting like mad since late Monday, when reports surfaced that Blunt was going to oppose the moratorium.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 30, 2010 - After months of verbally hammering his opponent on the topic, GOP U.S. Senate nominee Roy Blunt has now launched the expected ad alleging that his Democratic rival, Robin Carnahan, and her brother -- U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan -- played a role in the $107 million in federal tax breaks that went to the wind farm co-owned by their younger brother, Tom Carnahan.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 14, 2009 - U.S. Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond may take heat for his love of congressional "earmarks," but he made clear Sunday he isn't about to break off the relationship.

Bond, R-Mo., announced that he secured $118 million in funding for numerous Missouri projects in the massive $1.1 trillion spending bill approved Sunday by the Senate for the current (2010) fiscal year that began Oct. 1.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 16, 2009 - U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. and chairman of the newly created Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight, released late Monday a copy of a letter that she had sent to U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

McCaskill is  seeking information and documentation on defense contracts "that were awarded as a result of Congressional earmarks. The letter initiated an investigation into whether contracts for Congressional earmarks have been awarded competitively," her office said.