Just days after co-sponsoring tax reform legislation, local U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Savannah) switched gears to concentrate on a new measure to curb government spending.
The congressman led a coalition of his colleagues during a press conference Thursday to introduce the Kingston-Wolf-Wamp concurrent resolution, which would limit the number of earmarks members of Congress could attach to bills each year while a bipartisan, bicameral committee conducts a study of the earmark process.
“I’ve worked hard with Congressman (Frank) Wolf and Congressman (Zach) Wamp to come up with an earmark reform proposal that is acceptable to members. I think we've come up with a good bill that has the support of appropriators, budget hawks and Republican moderates,” Kingston said.
“This is the first earmark reform bill that can claim such a coalition. Once the bill gets to the House floor, I believe we can work in a bipartisan manner to get it passed.”
The Kingston-Wolf-Wamp concurrent resolution would establish a Joint Select Committee on Earmark Reform composed of 16 members from the House and Senate majority and minority parties. The JSC would be required to hold at least five public hearings while conducting a full study of earmarks.
Congress and the administration practice earmarking. The study would cover the House, Senate and Executive Branch.
Earmarking in authorizing, appropriation, tax and tariff measures will be covered and the JSC would report their findings back to Congress within six months. While the committee is conducting the study, no earmarks would be considered by either the House or the Senate.
So far, the bill has 78 co-sponsors.