CONGRESSMAN JIM HIMES

Representing the 4th District of Connecticut

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Himes' Earmark Reform Policy Adopted by U.S. House

March 11, 2010
Press Release

Washington, DC –The House Appropriations Committee announced yesterday that it will adopt a policy banning earmarks to for-profit entities that Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) implemented in his own office last year.  According to the House Appropriations Committee, if this rule had been in effect last year, it would have resulted in 1,000 fewer earmarks.

“I have always made it my official policy to not seek congressional earmarks for private companies,” said Himes.  “While some of these requests may have merit, my office does not have the resources to determine if public spending could crowd out private investment in each individual earmark circumstance. Today’s announcement is long overdue, both in our efforts to increase transparency and reduce government spending.”

To assure compliance, the Appropriations Committee will also require agency Inspectors General to audit a percentage of all earmarks directed to non-profit entities.  This new oversight measure will help ensure that earmarks go to their intended purposes and prevent for-profit companies from masquerading as non-profits.

Additionally, the Appropriations Committee will establish an online “one-stop” link to all House Members’ appropriations earmark requests to enable the public to easily view them.  In the interests of full disclosure and promoting more open and transparent government, Himes has been posting his earmark requests online since joining Congress in 2009.

Click here to read Himes’ voluntary policy on earmarks. It includes this principle as well as a prohibition against campaign contributions from lobbyists for governmental entities and directors or executives of not-for-profit entities for which he has secured an appropriation.