On February 7, 2008, Rob Wittman voted for a moratorium on the submission of earmark requests in the House of Representatives; the moratorium, however, failed to pass. The same day, he issued a press release condemning Speaker Nancy Pelosi for opposing the moratorium.
By the end of April 2008, Wittman had submitted $132,500,000 in earmark requests. Included in that amount were three earmark requests totaling $3,125,000 designated to the organization of a major campaign contributor.
By February 2009, several of those earmarks had survived the committee process and had become part of H.R. 1105 (the Omnibus Spending Bill). By the time it came up for an up-or-down vote on H.R. 1105, there were 15 earmarks with Wittman’s name on them totaling $37,661,500, including one for $95,000 for the organization of that campaign contributor. In the end, Wittman voted against the appropriates bill. Here’s a press release that Wittman posted on his website regarding H.R. 1105:
Today, Congressman Rob Wittman voted against H.R. 1105: the Consolidated Appropriations Act of Fiscal Year 2009 or “omnibus” spending bill. To date, only three of the twelve bills funding the government have been approved. Consequently, all domestic functions of the government are being funded through a continuing resolution that expires on March 6, 2009. Wittman has advocated maintaining vital programs included in the bill by freezing current spending rates at Fiscal Year 2008 levels. The spending increases in the bill would grow the budget deficit by $1.4 trillion in Fiscal Year 2009, and the bill is project to result in a deficit of $8.7 trillion in ten years.
“At a time when American families are tightening their belts, the government should be doing the same. We shouldn’t be irresponsibly placing more debt on the backs of our children and grandchildren,” said Wittman.
“There has been no oversight of the over 8,000 earmarks the bill funds and no opportunity to offer amendments to cut spending. The committee process has been circumvented allowing no review by elected Members of Congress and certainly no transparency for American citizens who want to know where their hard earned dollars are going to,” added Wittman.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2009 ultimately passed the House by a vote of 245-178.
He even posted a video on his YouTube channel complaining about the earmarks:
Can someone explain to me if Wittman thinks the system for earmarks is so broken, why is he so willing to submit and have his name on earmarks that will be approved through that process? Is it because his earmarks are so great and everyone else’s are so bad?
Isn’t that the definition of hypocrisy?