San Francisco Chronicle
February 4, 2007
Pelosi responds to editorial on earmarks
Editor - Your Feb. 1 editorial ('The new Party of Pork') rightly criticizes President Bush's hypocrisy on earmarks. For six years, the president stood by as the number and cost of earmarks under the Republican-controlled Congress spiraled out of control and corruption ran rampant.
Unfortunately, the editorial failed to note the historic steps the New Direction Congress has taken to bring transparency and accountability to the appropriations process. Last year, the Democratic majority in Congress acted quickly to require members of Congress to disclose in writing the purpose and intended recipients of earmarks, and to certify that members (and their spouses) have no financial interest in the request. Information about the cost and sponsorship of earmarks is required to be made available for public scrutiny before the Congress votes on appropriations bills.
Since gaining control of Congress, Democrats have succeeded in cutting the dollar amount of earmarks by 43 percent in fiscal year 2008. We promised earmark reform in the 2006 campaign, and we have kept that promise.
Speaker of the House