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109th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     109-655

======================================================================



 
    PROVIDING FOR EARMARKING REFORM IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                                _______
                                

 September 13, 2006.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be 
                                printed

                                _______
                                

    Mr. Dreier, from the Committee on Rules, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                             MINORITY VIEWS

                      [To accompany H. Res. 1000]

    The Committee on Rules, to whom was referred the resolution 
(H. Res. 1000) providing for earmarking reform in the House of 
Representatives, report favorably thereon and recommend that 
the resolution be agreed to, with an amendment.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Amendment........................................................     1
Purpose and Summary..............................................     4
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     4
Hearings.........................................................     6
Committee Consideration..........................................     6
Committee Votes..................................................     6
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     6
Performance Goals and Objectives.................................     6
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures     6
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................     7
Constitutional Authority Statement...............................     7
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................     7
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................     7
Minority Views...................................................    10

                               AMENDMENT

    The amendment is as follows:
    Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. EARMARKING REFORM IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.

    (a) In the House of Representatives, it shall not be in order to 
consider--
          (1) a bill reported by a committee unless the report includes 
        a list of earmarks in the bill or in the report (and the names 
        of Members who submitted requests to the committee for earmarks 
        included in such list); or
          (2) a conference report to accompany a bill unless the joint 
        explanatory statement prepared by the managers on the part of 
        the House and the managers on the part of the Senate includes a 
        list of earmarks in the conference report or joint statement 
        (and the names of Members who submitted requests to the 
        committee for earmarks included in such list) that were not 
        committed to the conference committee by either House, not in a 
        report specified in paragraph (1), and not in a report of a 
        committee of the Senate on a companion measure.
          (3) In order to be cognizable by the Chair, a point of order 
        raised under paragraph (1) may be based only on the failure of 
        a report of a committee to include a list required by paragraph 
        (1).
    (b) In the House of Representatives, it shall not be in order to 
consider--
          (1) a bill carrying a tax measure reported by the Committee 
        on Ways and Means as to which the Joint Committee on Taxation 
        has--
                  (A) identified a tax earmark pursuant to subsection 
                (e), unless the report on the bill includes a list of 
                tax earmarks in the bill or report (and the names of 
                Members who submitted requests to the committee for tax 
                earmarks included in such list); or
                  (B) failed to provide an analysis under subsection 
                (e); or
          (2) a conference report to accompany a bill carrying a tax 
        measure as to which the Joint Committee on Taxation has--
                  (A) identified a tax earmark pursuant to subsection 
                (e), unless the joint explanatory statement prepared by 
                the managers on the part of the House and the managers 
                on the part of the Senate includes a list of tax 
                earmarks in the conference report or joint statement 
                (and the names of Members who submitted requests to the 
                committee for tax earmarks included in such list) that 
                were not committed to the conference committee by 
                either House, not in a report specified in paragraph 
                (1), and not in a report of a committee of the Senate 
                on a companion measure; or
                  (B) failed to provide an analysis under subsection 
                (e).
          (3) A point of order under paragraph (1) or (2) may not be 
        cognizable by the Chair if the Joint Committee on Taxation has 
        provided an analysis under subsection (e) and has not 
        identified a tax earmark.
    (c)(1) In the House of Representatives, it shall not be in order to 
consider a rule or order that waives the application of subsection 
(a)(2) or (b)(2).
    (2) A point of order that a rule or order waives the application of 
subsection (b)(2)(A) may not be cognizable by the Chair if the Joint 
Committee on Taxation has provided an analysis under subsection (e) and 
has not identified a tax earmark.
    (3) In order to be cognizable by the Chair, a point of order that a 
rule or order waives the application of subsection (b)(2)(A) must 
specify the precise language of the rule or order and any pertinent 
analysis by the Joint Committee on Taxation contained in the joint 
statement of managers.
    (d)(1) As disposition of a point of order under subsection (a) or 
(b), the Chair shall put the question of consideration with respect to 
the proposition that is the subject of the point of order.
    (2) As disposition of a point of order under subsection (c) with 
respect to a rule or order relating to a conference report, the Chair 
shall put the question of consideration as follows: ``Shall the House 
now consider the resolution notwithstanding the assertion of [the maker 
of the point of order] that the object of the resolution introduces a 
new earmark or new earmarks?''.
    (3) The question of consideration under this subsection (other than 
one disposing of a point of order under subsection (b)) shall be 
debatable for 15 minutes by the Member initiating the point of order 
and for 15 minutes by an opponent, but shall otherwise be decided 
without intervening motion except one that the House adjourn.
    (e) The Joint Committee on Taxation shall review any bill 
containing a tax measure that is being reported by the Committee on 
Ways and Means or prepared for filing by a committee of conference of 
the two Houses, and shall identify whether such bill contains any tax 
earmarks. The Joint Committee on Taxation shall provide to the 
Committee on Ways and Means or the committee of conference a statement 
identifying any such tax earmarks or declaring that the bill or joint 
resolution does not contain any tax earmarks, and such statement shall 
be included in the report on the bill or joint statement of managers, 
as applicable. Any such statement shall also be made available to any 
Member of Congress by the Joint Committee on Taxation immediately upon 
request.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

    (a) For the purpose of this resolution, the term earmark means a 
provision in a bill or conference report, or language in an 
accompanying committee report or joint statement of managers--
          (1) with respect to a general appropriation bill, or 
        conference report thereon, providing or recommending an amount 
        of budget authority for a contract, loan, loan guarantee, 
        grant, or other expenditure with or to a non-Federal entity, 
        if--
                  (A) such entity is specifically identified in the 
                report or bill; or
                  (B) if the discretionary budget authority is 
                allocated outside of the statutory or administrative 
                formula-driven or competitive bidding process and is 
                targeted or directed to an identifiable entity, 
                specific State, or Congressional district; or,
          (2) with respect to a measure other than that specified in 
        paragraph (1), or conference report thereon, providing 
        authority, including budget authority, or recommending the 
        exercise of authority, including budget authority, for a 
        contract, loan, loan guarantee, grant, loan authority, or other 
        expenditure with or to a non-Federal entity, if--
                  (A) such entity is specifically identified in the 
                report or bill;
                  (B) if the authorization for, or provision of, budget 
                authority, contract authority, loan authority or other 
                expenditure is allocated outside of the statutory or 
                administrative formula-driven or competitive bidding 
                process and is targeted or directed to an identifiable 
                entity, specific State, or Congressional district; or
                  (C) if such authorization for, or provision of, 
                budget authority, contract authority, loan authority or 
                other expenditure preempts statutory or administrative 
                State allocation authority.
    (b)(1) For the purpose of this resolution, the term tax earmark 
means any revenue-losing provision that provides a Federal tax 
deduction, credit, exclusion, or preference to only one beneficiary 
(determined with respect to either present law or any provision of 
which the provision is a part) under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 
in any year for which the provision is in effect;
    (2) for purposes of paragraph (1)--
          (A) all businesses and associations that are members of the 
        same controlled group of corporations (as defined in section 
        1563(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986) shall be treated 
        as a single beneficiary;
          (B) all shareholders, partners, members, or beneficiaries of 
        a corporation, partnership, association, or trust or estate, 
        respectively, shall be treated as a single beneficiary;
          (C) all employees of an employer shall be treated as a single 
        beneficiary;
          (D) all qualified plans of an employer shall be treated as a 
        single beneficiary;
          (E) all beneficiaries of a qualified plan shall be treated as 
        a single beneficiary;
          (F) all contributors to a charitable organization shall be 
        treated as a single beneficiary;
          (G) all holders of the same bond issue shall be treated as a 
        single beneficiary; and
          (H) if a corporation, partnership, association, trust or 
        estate is the beneficiary of a provision, the shareholders of 
        the corporation, the partners of the partnership, the members 
        of the association, or the beneficiaries of the trust or estate 
        shall not also be treated as beneficiaries of such provision;
    (3) for the purpose of this subsection, the term revenue-losing 
provision means any provision that is estimated to result in a 
reduction in Federal tax revenues (determined with respect to either 
present law or any provision of which the provision is a part) for any 
one of the two following periods--
          (A) the first fiscal year for which the provision is 
        effective; or
          (B) the period of the 5 fiscal years beginning with the first 
        fiscal year for which the provision is effective; and
    (4) the terms used in this subsection shall have the same meaning 
as those terms have generally in the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, 
unless otherwise expressly provided.
    (c) For the purpose of this resolution--
          (1) government-sponsored enterprises, Federal facilities, and 
        Federal lands shall be considered Federal entities;
          (2) to the extent that the non-Federal entity is a State, 
        unit of local government, territory, an Indian tribe, a foreign 
        government or an intergovernmental international organization, 
        the provision or language shall not be considered an earmark 
        unless the provision or language also specifies the specific 
        purpose for which the designated budget authority is to be 
        expended;
          (3) the term budget authority shall have the same meaning as 
        such term is defined in section 3 of the Congressional Budget 
        Act of 1974 (2 U.S.C. 622); and,
          (4) an obligation limitation shall be treated as though it is 
        budget authority.

                          PURPOSE AND SUMMARY

    H. Res. 1000 will provide for earmarking reform and 
transparency in the House of Representatives. The resolution 
provides a new standing order of the House with regard to 
earmarks in authorization, appropriations, and tax measures.
    H. Res. 1000 provides that, in order for the House to 
consider a bill, the Committee of jurisdiction must list all 
earmarks included in the bill and committee report along with 
the names of Members requesting the earmark. In the case of a 
conference report, the list must include any earmarks (with 
Member names) that were ``airdropped'' into the conference 
report or joint statement. If an authorizing committee or the 
Appropriations Committee fails to include a list of earmarks, a 
Member can raise a point of order against consideration of the 
bill or conference report. Such a point of order against a bill 
may be based only on the failure to include a list. A point of 
order is disposed of by the question of consideration debatable 
for 30 minutes, equally divided. This new provision applies to 
all Committees.
    In the case of tax bills, the Joint Committee on Taxation 
(JCT) is specifically charged with compiling the list because 
of intricacies involved in scoring the impact of a tax 
provision. If the Ways and Means Committee fails to include a 
JCT list of earmarks or a JCT statement indicating that there 
are no earmarks, a Member can raise a point of order against 
consideration of the bill or conference report. The question of 
consideration is not debatable.
    The resolution provides that if a rule providing for the 
consideration of a conference report waives the requirement for 
a list of new earmarks, then the point of order would lie 
against the rule. If the question of consideration is rejected, 
the House is not allowed to consider the legislation or the 
rule providing for its consideration of the legislation until a 
list of earmarks is included.
    H. Res. 1000 defines an authorizing earmark as a provision 
that permits funds to be allocated outside of the normal 
formula-driven or competitive bidding process and to be 
targeted to a specific entity, State, or Congressional 
district. The resolution also defines an appropriations earmark 
as a provision that allocates funds outside of the normal 
formula-driven or competitive bidding process and targets those 
funds to a specific entity, State, or Congressional district. 
Finally, H. Res. 1000 defines a tax earmark as any revenue-
losing provision that provides a Federal tax deduction, credit, 
exclusion, or preference to only one beneficiary, as determined 
by the Joint Committee on Taxation.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    Over the past several years, there has been a growing 
concern over the proliferation of legislative provisions 
directing spending and other benefits to individual entities, 
commonly referred to as ``earmarking.'' Earmarks are not 
currently defined in law or congressional rule, nor is there a 
single common understanding of the term ``earmark'' accepted by 
all practitioners and observers of the legislative process.
    While there are differences in the analyses of earmarking 
among the groups studying the topic, the majority of those 
studies confirm an increase in the use of the earmarking 
process through fiscal year 2005. A recent Congressional 
Research Service (CRS) analysis found that the number of 
earmarks authorized by Congress in appropriations bills alone 
increased from 4,155 in 1994 to 15,887 in 2005--an increase of 
282 percent. Using a slightly different methodology, Citizens 
Against Government Waste (CAGW) concluded that there were 1,439 
earmarks in 1995, which grew to 13,997 in 2005, for an increase 
of 872 percent. For fiscal year 2006, CAGW identified 9,963 
projects in the 11 appropriation bills, with an estimated total 
cost of $29 billion. CAGW estimates the total cost of earmarks 
has increased by 29 percent since fiscal year 2003.
    With both internal and external pressure mounting, the 
109th Congress has been marked by a renewed effort to eliminate 
wasteful spending and to enhance transparency and 
accountability within theearmarking process. Congress, led by 
efforts of the Appropriations Committee, has taken positive steps to 
reduce the number of, and dollars spent, on Member projects while 
increasing the transparency and accountability for these spending 
decisions. This fiscal year, Member requests for projects declined by 
37 percent and dollars spent on projects declined significantly in 
every spending bill. Overall, spending on Member projects was reduced 
by $7.5 billion below last year. Over the last two years, Member 
project spending has decreased by over $10 billion. In addition, the 
Appropriations Committee took strong steps to prevent new projects from 
being included in conference reports which were not included in either 
the House or Senate bill (a practice commonly referred to as 
``airdropping'') by including all Member projects during House 
consideration of spending bills.
    Notwithstanding the efforts of the Appropriations Committee 
to address concerns internally, the Rules Committee 
acknowledges that earmarks have been included in bills outside 
of the appropriations process. The Committee also acknowledges 
that what one Member might define as an earmark may be defined 
by another Member as an important policy objective. Prior to H. 
Res. 1000, there has been no common definition of an earmark, 
however, it has been commonly accepted that an earmark 
typically benefits a specific entity outside of an accepted or 
regular Federal funding process.
    Definitional disagreements aside, there has been near 
unanimity among Members in support of more transparency and 
accountability in the earmarking process. While the current 
system for Members to direct Federal funds to specific 
legislative priorities is not perfect, most Members can agree 
that requiring full disclosure of all earmarks, including the 
names of those Members who requested them, will require Members 
to fully explain and defend their legislative priorities to 
their colleagues.
    Two prior measures considered and passed by the House, H.R. 
4975, the Lobbying Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006, 
as well as H.R. 4890, the Legislative Line Item Veto Act of 
2006, addressed similar issues. H.R. 4975 addressed a broad 
range of concerns with not only the earmark process, but also 
critical lobby reform and disclosure requirements as well as 
Congressional ethics process reform. The Lobbying 
Accountability and Transparency Act contained in it a similar 
special order involving earmarks; however, unlike the current 
special order, the bill as passed in the House only applied the 
earmark disclosure requirements to the appropriations process 
and there was widespread agreement that similar disclosures 
should be made for authorizing and revenue bills as well.
    The Legislative Line Item Veto Act of 2006 also seeks to 
address concerns with the earmark process by granting the 
President special authority to temporarily defer spending on 
earmarked projects until Congress either approves or 
disapproves the President's proposed rescission of those 
projects. Unfortunately, a conference agreement on H.R. 4975 
has yet to be reached and the Senate has yet to consider H.R. 
4890 or its companion measure.
    The Committee believes that H. Res. 1000 provides for 
strict disclosure requirements for all committees, and it 
allows ample opportunity for Members to address concerns 
regarding potential earmarks. The special order requires 
disclosure and accountability without dramatically impeding the 
current legislative process. This reform respects Congress' 
Constitutional right to direct monies flowing from the Federal 
treasury and is an important and appropriate reform.

                                HEARINGS

    The Committee on Rules did not hold a hearing on this 
measure.

                        COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION

    The Committee on Rules met on H. Res. 1000 in open session 
and ordered the resolution favorably reported to the House as 
amended by a voice vote.

                            COMMITTEE VOTES

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list the record votes 
on the motion to report legislation and amendments thereto. No 
record votes were taken in conjunction with the consideration 
of this measure. A motion by Mr. Lincoln Diaz-Balart of Florida 
to report the bill to the House with a favorable 
recommendation, as amended by the Dreier amendment in the 
nature of a substitute, was agreed to by a voice vote.

                      COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee made findings that are 
reflected in this report.

                    PERFORMANCE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

    The Committee finds that this measure does not authorize 
funding within the meaning of clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of 
the Rules of the House of Representatives and therefore does 
not apply.

   NEW BUDGET AUTHORITY, ENTITLEMENT AUTHORITY, AND TAX EXPENDITURES

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee finds that this 
legislation would result in no new budget authority, 
entitlement authority, or tax expenditures or revenues.

                      ADVISORY COMMITTEE STATEMENT

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act were created by this 
legislation.

                   CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT

    Pursuant to clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee finds that the 
Constitutional authority of Congress to enact this legislation 
is provided by article 1, section 5, clause 2 of the 
Constitution of the United States (relating to each House of 
Congress determining the rules of its proceedings).

                APPLICABILITY TO THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not address 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act.

             SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS OF THE LEGISLATION

Section 1. Earmarking reform in the House of Representatives

    Section 1 provides a special order of the House providing 
that it will not be in order to consider: (1) a bill, unless 
the report to accompany the bill includes a list of earmarks in 
the bill or its report, including the name of any Member who 
submitted a request to the committee for an earmark included in 
the list; or (2) the conference report accompanying a bill, 
unless the joint explanatory statement of managers accompanying 
that conference report includes a list of earmarks, including 
the name of any Member who submitted a request to the committee 
for an earmark included in the list, which were not committed 
to conference by either House or were not in the report 
accompanying the House or Senate bills. If a rule waives the 
application of this order with respect to a conference report, 
a point of order lies against the rule.
    With respect to a tax measure, it will not be in order to 
consider such a bill (or a conference report to accompany such 
a bill) where the Joint Committee on Taxation has: (1) 
identified a tax earmark; or (2) failed to provide an analysis 
regarding tax earmarks as required under this section, unless 
the joint explanatory statement of managers accompanying that 
conference report includes a list of earmarks, including the 
name of any Member who submitted a request to the committee for 
an earmark included in the list, which were not committed to 
conference by either House or were not in the report 
accompanying the House or Senate bills.
    Disposition of the point of order against the bill (or 
against the rule in the case of a conference report) will be as 
the question of consideration put by the Chair, and will be 
debatable for 30 minutes, equally divided between the Member 
raising the point of order and an opponent. However, if the 
point of order is made on the basis that the committee report 
or joint statement of managers fails to contain the applicable 
analysis of the Joint Committee on Taxation or accompanying 
list, the point of order is not debatable. With regard to a 
conference report to accompany a bill containing a tax measure 
which contains an analysis from the Joint Committee on 
Taxation, the maker of the point of order must specify the 
precise language of the rule or order and anypertinent analysis 
by the Joint Committee on Taxation contained in the joint statement of 
managers.
    With regard to how committee chairs determine which Member 
or Members request an earmark, the Committee believes that 
there will usually be sufficient indicators in the committee 
process to allow the chairman to make that determination, 
including letters requesting the earmark, sponsorship of an 
amendment, or other similar standards.
    The Committee further intends that the requirement to 
provide a list of such earmarks should not in any way affect 
the status of an earmark which may be of a classified nature. 
The Committee believes that inclusion of the list of any 
classified earmarks (and Members requesting such earmarks) in 
the classifed portion of the committee report, or classified 
annex to a committee report, is sufficient for purposes of this 
resolution. However, the Committee believes that the 
unclassified committee report should indicate that such a list 
is included in the classified report or annex.

Sec. 2. Definitions

    This section provides the definitions used in this special 
order. Subsection (a) defines an ``earmark'' as a provision in 
either legislative or report language providing or recommending 
an amount of budget authority (or in the case of a measure 
other than a general appropriation bill, providing any 
authority or recommending the exercise of authority for a 
contract, loan, loan guarantee, grant, loan authority, or other 
expenditure) with or to a non-Federal entity, if that entity is 
specifically identified in the bill or report, or if the budget 
authority is allocated outside of the normal formula-driven or 
competitive bidding process, is targeted or directed to an 
identifiable person, State, or Congressional district, or 
preempts statutory or administrative State allocation 
authority.
    A ``tax earmark'' is defined as a revenue-losing provision 
which provides a Federal tax deduction, credit, exclusion, or 
preference to a single beneficiary determined with respect to 
current law or any provision of which the provision is a part 
from a change to the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. The 
definition also contains a number of exceptions to clarify that 
a provision is not a tax earmark when all similarly situated 
entities are treated similarly, even when there may be a small 
number of entities affected by a particular provision.
    This section also further defines certain terms that are 
used in the resolution for the purposes of the special order. 
It describes the treatment of government sponsored enterprises, 
Federal facilities, Federal lands, Indian tribes, foreign 
governments, and intergovernmental international organizations. 
It also clarifies that an obligation limitation shall be 
treated as though it is budget authority for purposes of this 
section. Nothing in subsection (c)(4) shall be construed to 
define a term for any purpose other than the purpose of this 
resolution, and no precedent of a term's meaning beyond the 
purpose of this special order is implied or established.
    Finally, while the Committee recognizes that no definition 
can ever capture all of every concievable formulation of an 
earmark, the Committee believes that committee chairs will make 
a good faith effort to comply both with the letter and spirit 
of this rule, and list those provisions which they know to be 
earmarks.

                             MINORITY VIEWS

    We oppose this resolution because it is not the 
comprehensive Congressional reform House leaders promised they 
would deliver to the American people at the beginning of this 
year. We also oppose it because it does not even adequately fix 
the narrow problem it purports to address--the explosion of 
special-interest earmarking under the Republican House 
leadership. While we support the Majority's goal of increased 
transparency and accountability in the way the House conduct 
its business, we do not see how this resolution advances this 
objective in any significant way.
1. Too little, too late
    In January of this year, Speaker Hastert and Chairman 
Dreier promised the American people the Republican Congress was 
ready to take strong, decisive steps to clean up the House of 
Representatives and restore Americans' badly shaken confidence 
in their legislative branch. Coming off a year in which the 
Jack Abramoff and Duke Cunningham scandals dominated the news, 
Republican leaders promised a ``bold and strong'' response to 
the toxic culture of cronyism and corruption that had developed 
under the Republican majority. On February 1st of this year, 
Chairman Dreier told the House, ``We are committed to bold, 
strong, dynamic reform for this institution. The Republican 
Party, Mr. Speaker, has stood for reform ever since I can 
remember.'' (Congressional Record (daily ed.), Feb. 1, 2006, p. 
29.)
    Nine months later, it is clear that the ``bold and strong'' 
promises Republican House leaders made at the beginning of 2006 
will not be kept this year and that their leadership of the 
109th Congress will not be remembered for its commitment to 
reform. As USA Today put in a recent editorial: ``Congress' 
answer to this ethics catastrophe has been a pair of competing 
measures in the House and Senate, which fall far short of what 
was promised in January but allow incumbents campaigning for 
re-election to claim they `voted for lobbying reform.' '' (USA 
Today editorial, ``Scandal? What scandal? Congress ducks ethics 
reform,'' 9/5/2006.) It has now become clear that, after the 
House and Senate passed their watered-down reform proposals in 
the spring, Republican leaders decided to allow Congressional 
reform to die a slow death in legislative limbo. They appear to 
have adopted a run-out-the-clock strategy in the 109th 
Congress, in which they periodically talk about going to 
conference, but do not actually name conferees or begin working 
on a final reform proposal. As a result, the ``bold and 
strong'' Republican reform agenda will have only resulted in 
two very modest accomplishments: a change to House rules that 
prohibits former House Members now working as lobbyists from 
using the Members' gym and the loophole-ridden ``earmark 
reform'' proposed in this resolution.
    We are very disappointed that the entire result of 
Congress' work on the reform issue this year will be only two 
modest rules changes, because we believe that the majority of 
House Members--and the millions of Americans who sent them to 
Washington to work on their behalf--want broader reforms. As we 
have argued again and again this year, the House of 
Representatives has lost the trust of the American people. Over 
the past few years, Republican leaders have refused to enforce 
the House ethics rules and have allowed the deliberative 
process to be captured by special interests. The result is a 
Congress in which corrupt lobbyists write the bills, 15-minute 
votes are held open for three hours, and entirely new 
legislation is crammed into signed conference reports in the 
dead of night. (For a longer discussion of this problem, see 
our Minority Views on H.R. 4975, H. Rept. 109-439, pt. 3, the 
``Lobbying Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006.'')
    To restore the good will the Congress has squandered over 
the past decade, the House has to do more than kick lobbyists 
out of its locker rooms. To use Chairman Dreier's words, the 
House must take ``bold, strong, dynamic'' steps to show a 
skeptical American public that we are finally serious about 
raising the ethical bar in Congress. During the debate on the 
Republican ``lobbying reform'' bill (H.R. 4975) in May 2006, 
Ranking Member Slaughter offered just such a plan to the House 
as a motion to recommit. Among many other things, the Slaughter 
proposal banned travel on corporate jets, prohibited lobbyist 
gifts, slowed down the revolving door between Capitol Hill and 
K Street, and addressed some of the procedural abuses that have 
flourished in the Republican-controlled House. It was very 
gratifying to us that the Slaughter motion to recommit (vote 
#118) received 16 Republican votes and came within two votes of 
passing and replacing the weaker Republican bill. We believe 
this vote demonstrates a strongdesire in the House, on both 
sides of the aisle, to take a more comprehensive and ``bold'' approach 
to Congressional reform. We are very disappointed that the Republican 
leadership has chosen to ignore this strong sentiment among rank-and-
file Members and instead run out the clock on reform. As we noted 
earlier this year, we believe that restoring ethical standards and a 
truly deliberative lawmaking process to the House would be good for 
both parties, the House, and the country.

2. ``Stop Us Before We Earmark Again''

    The fig-leaf reform idea offered in this resolution is to 
require the disclosure of certain earmarks in appropriations 
bills, as well as authorization and revenue bills. Before 
reviewing the very modest effects the rule change proposed in 
this resolution will have on the actual conduct of House 
business, it is worth reviewing the Republican record on 
earmarking. In spite of the loud and frequent condemnation of 
earmarks in the Republican Conference, the practice of 
earmarking has exploded since Republicans took the majority in 
1994. According to statistics collected by Brian Riedl of the 
Heritage Foundation, earmarks on appropriations bill increased 
tenfold between 1995 and 2005, from 1,439 earmarks in 1995 to 
13,997 in 2005. While in the mid-1990s earmarks accounted for 
about $10 billion in annual federal spending, they now total 
more than $27 billion. (Brian Riedl, the Heritage Foundation, 
``Federal Spending--By the Numbers,'' 2/6/06, p. 10; available 
at: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Budget/upload/ 
93690_1.pdf.)
    As many observers have pointed out, however, the explosion 
of earmarks has not been restricted to the appropriations 
process. Last year's transportation re-authorization contained 
a record-shattering 6,371 earmarks with a total cost of $25 
billion. (Id.) On the tax side, in spite of their harsh 
rhetoric condemning the complexity of the federal tax system, 
Congressional Republicans have made an average of 427 changes a 
year to the Federal Tax Code over the past 12 years, which has 
added 500 new pages and hundreds of thousands of new words to 
our already complex tax code. (Ways and Means Committee 
Democrats Report, ``Consequences of Republican Tax Policy,'' 4/ 
12/2005; available at: http://www.house.gov/ 
waysandmeans_democrats/ tax/42_wm_tax_report_pt_1.pdf.) Many of 
these changes were narrow, rifle-shot provisions intended to 
benefit narrow corporate interests, such as oil producers, 
archery and tackle box manufacturers, and Home Depot's 
importation of ceiling fans from China.
    Observers both inside and outside of the Capitol have 
linked this ``earmark fever'' to the breakdown of the 
deliberative process in the Republican Congress. Instead of 
leaving the allocation of government resources to government 
professionals, Congressional scholars Thomas Mann and Norman 
Ornstein recently commented, Republicans have used earmarks as 
``chits to use to reward the compliant and punish the stubborn 
among them, while losing control over the federal pursestrings 
for a large share of discretionary spending.'' (Thomas E. Mann 
and Norman J. Ornstein, The Broken Branch: How Congress is 
Failing America and How to Get it Back on Track (2006), p. 
214.) ``Earmarking,'' our colleague Jeff Flake wrote in a New 
York Times column earlier this year, ``has become the currency 
of corruption in Congress.'' It not only drives up federal 
spending, but also discourages Members from scrutinizing 
spending legislation and then overseeing the federal agencies 
entrusted with taxpayers' funds. (Jeff Flake, ``Earmarked 
Men,'' New York Times, 2/9/06.)
    It seems almost too obvious to mention, but we must remind 
our Republican colleagues that they are the majority, and 
furthermore, that for the past six years their party has also 
controlled the White House. Having the majority means 
controlling the legislative process, which includes deciding 
how many earmarks and other narrowly-tailored special interest 
favors their laws will contain. In other words, Republicans 
don't need any additional authority to reform the earmarking 
process. They have all the legislative power they need to 
reform the earmarking process any way they see fit.
    What is obvious from the debate we have conducted on this 
resolution and the one we conducted several months ago on H.R. 
4890, the ``Legislative Line-Item Veto Act,'' is that 
Republicans lack the political will to truly reform the way 
Congress authorizes and spends taxpayers' dollars. Instead, 
they turn to outside forces (in the case of the H.R. 4890, the 
executive branch) or new procedural devices (additional 
earmarking disclosure rules like the ones proposed in this 
resolution) in the hope of changing their behavior. As we 
observed in our views on the line-item veto legislation, House 
Republicans seem to be pleading, ``Stop us before we earmark 
again.'' (Dissenting Views to H.R.4890, H. Rept. 109-505, pt. 
2, the ``Legislative Line-Item Veto Act of 2006.'') We can't help but 
respond to these pleas that the best way to bring earmarking under 
control is to recommit yourselves to balanced budgets and fiscal 
discipline. The only thing Congressional Republicans need to reverse 
the proliferation of earmarks and special interest giveaways is a 
little fiscal self-control.
    H. Res. 1000 purports to take on the explosion of 
earmarking by blocking House consideration of bills and 
conference reports that do not disclose the earmarks they 
contain. Sections 1(a) and (b) prohibit the House from 
considering reported bills and conference reports for which the 
responsible committees do not list their earmarks and the names 
of the Members who requested them. In the case of reported 
bills, the point of order would only be available if committees 
failed to submit earmark lists or, in the case of revenue 
bills, the Ways & Means Committee failed to submit an earmark 
analysis prepared by the Joint Committee on Taxation. As long 
as the committees submit such lists (whether they are truly 
comprehensive or not), the Chair in the House must find that 
the point of order is not available. In addition, H. Res. 1000 
would allow the Rules Committee to waive this point of order 
against reported appropriation and authorization bills. Section 
1(c)(1) of the resolution, however, establishes a non-waivable 
point of order against any rule allowing the consideration of 
conference reports containing earmarks that did not previously 
appear in the House or Senate versions of the legislation. This 
point of order against the consideration of conference reports 
would allow 30 minutes of debate and give the House an 
opportunity to stop a conference report containing new 
earmarks.
    While this new point of order appears to give standing 
committees and conference committees a new incentive to 
disclose the earmarks in their bills, it also leaves available 
a number of avenues to get around the new disclosure 
requirements. For example, this point of order would not lie 
against a manager's amendment to a reported bill made in order 
under a special rule. Such an amendment could contain any 
number of undisclosed earmarks. This strategy was employed 
during consideration of last year's transportation re-
authorization bill, during which the Transportation Committee 
submitted a lengthy manager's amendment that contained, among 
other things, language authorizing $50 million for the 
notorious ``Bridge to Nowhere'' connecting the small island 
community of Ketchikan, Alaska to Gravina Island.
    Nor would the point of order created in H. Res. 1000 cover 
legislation that comes to the House floor without going through 
the committee reporting process. In other words, an introduced 
bill taken straight to the House floor or legislation 
introduced after being marked up in a committee as an un-
introduced print would not have to disclose earmarks. We make 
this point in light of the recent trend in the House to grant 
special rules to unreported bills. So far in the 109th 
Congress, the Rules Committee has granted 25 special rules for 
unreported bills. An egregious example of the abuse this 
practice can engender is the closed rule (H. Res. 966) granted 
to consider two major unreported revenue bills on July 28th of 
this year. The two bills the rule made in order by that rule 
(H.R. 4 and H.R. 5970) had been introduced just several hours 
earlier and contained a number of tax breaks targeted to 
special interests such as the timber, candle, pasta, wire rod, 
music box and cashmere industries at a cost of hundreds of 
millions of dollars to the American taxpayers.
    The 5-page section of the bill defining the term 
``earmark'' also affords standing and conference committees a 
number of opportunities to include special interest earmarks in 
their legislation but escape the reach of this resolution. For 
example, the term ``earmark'' as it is defined in Section 2 of 
this resolution applies only to expenditures made or authorized 
for ``non-Federal entities.'' This definition would appear to 
exclude from the definition of earmarks a number of spending 
categories that most observers of the legislative process 
define as ``pork'' or ``earmarks.'' Since the 2005 ``Bridge to 
Nowhere'' Gravina Island Project earmark, for example, was a 
grant of authority to a Federal entity (the Secretary of 
Transportation), it would appear to fall outside of this 
resolution's definition of earmark. On the revenue side, the 
resolution does not include tariff or duty changes that result 
in lost federal revenues, which means that the infamous Home 
Depot ceiling fan provision would not be considered an earmark. 
It is hard not to question the seriousness of this proposal 
when it simply defines away some of the most notorious 
earmarking episodes of the past few years. Also on the revenue 
side, we would note that the resolution entrusts the job of 
ferreting out earmarks in revenue bills to the Joint Committee 
on Taxation, half of whose members are also Ways & Means 
Committee members. While we do not question the professionalism 
of anybody involved in the two committees, we find it hard to 
believe that the process of analyzing revenue bills for 
earmarks would be an adversarial one.
    Finally, it is worth noting that the Slaughter proposal the 
House came within two votes of passing last May contained an 
earmark reform proposal that is more comprehensive than the one 
proposed in this resolution. Section 502 of the Slaughter 
reform package requires Members to publicly disclose all 
district-specific earmark requests they make on bills or 
conference reports. In the case of revenue bills, it requires 
the Joint Committee on Taxation to analyze bills and conference 
reports and publicly disclose provisions that would grant tax 
benefits to small groups. Finally, the bill makes it a 
violation of the House Code of Conduct to trade votes on a bill 
or conference report for district-oriented earmarks.

                                   Louise M. Slaughter.
                                   James P. McGovern.
                                   Alcee L. Hastings.
                                   Doris O. Matsui.