Congressman Michael McCaul

Representing the 10th District of Texas

House Passes McCaul's Language to Reform Spending

Jun 4, 2013
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives has once again passed language proposed by Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX) to prohibit the practice of using taxpayer dollars to fund projects and programs named for sitting House members.  The latest language is contained in Section 407 of HR 2216, the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, introduced by Rep. John Culberson (R-Houston), and would specifically apply to VA and military construction projects and programs.

“The question is not whether these projects are worthy of taxpayer dollars.  It’s a problem of perception that these projects receive special treatment because of the names they bear,” said Rep. McCaul.  “At a minimum, when the American people see this it feeds the belief that members of Congress are arrogant and out of touch with the people we represent.  At worst these ‘monuments to me’ serve as a fundraising tool and campaign ad for the incumbent at taxpayer expense.”

“This is one step toward restoring faith in the federal government, which was at an all time low even before the latest scandals involving the IRS and freedom of the press,” McCaul said. 

Language Congressman McCaul has introduced has influenced spending in Washington for the past five years: 

  • 2008 – practice banned for all spending in first quarter FY’09 and for VA/MilCon spending for all of FY’09
  • 2009 – Democrat House Appropriations Chairman banned the funding of earmarks named for members
  • 2011 and 2013 – adopted in the official House Rules

SEC. 407 of HR 2216 reads: None of the funds made available in this Act may be used for a project or program named for an individual serving as a Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner of the United States House of Representatives.

The spending practice is often tied to projects funded through earmarks.   Congressman McCaul, a former federal prosecutor, was among the first members to stop requesting earmarks in 2008because the system is too susceptible to waste, fraud and abuse.

In its January 25, 2011 edition, The Wall Street Journal called Rep. McCaul’s effort a “long overdue reform” in its column, Enough With the ‘Monuments to Me’.

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