Sen. Kyl Denounces Earmarks…Except His Own for $200 Million

Thursday, November 25, 2010
Sen. Jon Kyl
Much maligned by Republicans since the election, earmarks are defined under U.S. Senate rules as a spending item inserted “primarily at the request of a senator” that goes “to an entity, or (is) targeted to a specific state.” This definition fits the actions of Senator Jon Kyl (R-Arizona), one of the most vocal GOP critics of earmarks, who slipped in a $200 million gift for his state after insisting this very same practice of lawmakers needs to end.
Kyl, the No. 2 Senate Republican, got his $200 million item into a bill that settles discrimination claims by black farmers and American Indians against the federal government. Kyl’s office insisted the spending item was not an earmark.
The $200 million was ticketed to settle the water-rights claims of the White Mountain Apache Tribe and fund a drinking water project.
On November 9, Kyl issued this statement: “I voted for the earmark moratorium when it was offered on the Senate floor on March 16, but it won only 29 votes at the time. I nevertheless refrained from requesting earmarks, and I do not intend to request any in the coming year. I support the moratorium.”
Ten days later, Kyl bragged about obtaining the $200 million. Yet three days after that, Kyl was back railing against earmarks again. “With thousands of projects hidden into lengthy spending bills,” he said, “the Senate can’t vote to eliminate them all. Some wasteful projects will undoubtedly slip through the cracks. That’s why it’s important to stop the practice altogether.”
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
PROMISES, PROMISES: GOP Leader Reaps $200 million (by Andrew Taylor, Associated Press)


John Q. 11 years ago
Mendelsohn, that is fine if you don't think this is an earmark. I think it is. Regardless, you have to realize Kyl is an SOB politician and this is how he gets things done. He spent a decade trying to ban online gambling, and how did he eventually do it? He slipped in/attached credit card legislation onto the unrelated Port Security bill. I'm a Republican and this is giving us a REALLY bad name. Kyl needs to be watched very carefully, especially if he is right behind McConnell in leadership. Way to undermine the party and be two-faced, Kyl. Let's play some more semantics and see what you get away with.
we plude 11 years ago
sign START now & stop the game playing. Stop the earmarks.
Barry Mendelsohn 11 years ago
I think the definition of an earmark in this story is too inclusive. The earmark definition should be limited to inserts that are done secretly and without the approval of the other legislators. In the past earmarks were added secretly and often on matters not even germane to the bill they were attached to. If Congress had an opportunity to approve Sen Kyl's insertion as an amendment to the bill, it would not be an earmark even if it benefited just one state or one district. In this case the insert is about funds owed to an American Indian tribe, which was the subject of the bill anyways. However, the story doesn't say whether the Arizona Indian tribe's case was against the federal government (to which the rest of the bill pertained) or the Arizona State government.
does it matter 11 years ago
If this keeps up, Republicans will be finished. This jerk doesn't get it. WE WANT TO STOP SPENDING!!! That doesn't mean LESS spending!!!! If things don't change dramatically, the Tea Party will become a Tea Riot.
Mike 11 years ago
Sen. Kyl can talk about it not being an earmark all he wants, but the end result is most people believe it is an earmark. I guess it's politics as usual. I hoped and prayed the Republicans had learned their lesson in 2008. Is obvious they haven't. Sen. Kyl should be voted out of office and anyone who supported the "earmark". I'm sick and tired of the government asking me to pay for more and more when they can't do the same. The only justification for the government to spend more money (in their eyes) is to take take or the citizens of this country. Sounds pretty noble..right? You (the government) obviously have no idea how to run a business. Start making spending cuts within the government. Get rid of some of your perks. I had to.

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