Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) discussed legislation he has introduced to permanently ban earmarks Thursday afternoon on Fox News. Toomey said that while he expects the Earmark Elimination Act to meet strong resistance in the new Congress, he is cautiously optimistic about the bill’s chances:
NEIL CAVUTO: Just call at it “pork chop” amid calls in the House to bring back earmarks. Two senators are pushing to wipe them out for good. Claire McCaskill and Republican Pat Toomey are reintroducing a bill that would ban pork permanently. The move is not getting widespread support in this latest session. Senator Toomey on what he does to get around that – Senator?
PAT TOOMEY: Good afternoon, Neil.
NEIL CAVUTO: What do you make of the resistance you’re encountering?
PAT TOOMEY: Well, you know, it’s going to be a battle. It always is. But we have made a lot of progress. Last Congress, Senate Republicans adopted a moratorium on all earmarks and the Democratic senators responded in kind. Now, for this Congress the Senate Republicans have already adopted a moratorium. We haven’t heard from the Democrats yet. So I am worried about backsliding, that’s part of the reason I’m introducing this bill. Earmarks are by their ver nature are an abuse of — an avoidance of the way taxpayer dollars ought to be protected. And then, of course, they’ve just escalated totally out of control in the last few years. So, we’re going to have to keep working this. We have some new members who will be supportive of this. Guys like Jeff Flake from Arizona, and Ted Cruz from Texas, and others. I’m cautiously optimistic Neil.