During the presidential campaign, President Obama made a no-earmarks promise and assured the American people that “we need earmark reform. And when I’m president, I will go line by line to make sure that we are not spending money unwisely.”

However, this past weekend Peter Orszag, director of the Office on Management and Budget, announced the President’s willingness to sign into law the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009, a $410 billion spending package combining nine of the twelve appropriations bills Congress failed to pass in 2008 and is said to contain over 8,000 earmarks. This past weekend on ABC’s “This Week,” Orszag stated that “We want to just move on. Let’s get this bill done, get it into law and move forward.”
Last week, the Congressional Quarterly reported that President Obama was listed as one of dozens of cosponsors of a $7.7 million earmark in the Omnibus which the U.S. House of Representatives passed on Wednesday, February 25.
Here’s what ATR president Grover Norquist had to say:
For all the talk about fiscal responsibility, President Obama has so far failed miserably to deliver. The fact that he now just wants to “move on” and sign this bloated leftover spending package stuffed with thousands of outrageous earmarks – one of which he actually cosponsored – is an insult to taxpayers who were promised otherwise.
This is certainly not going "line by line to make sure we are not spending money unwisely." However, it does seem to fit the pattern – after all this is not the first broken promise we have seen from this president in less than two months. Taxpayers should be outraged – but they probably shouldn’t be surprised any more.

Earlier this year, President Obama signed into law a tax increase on Americans making less than $250,000 with the expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. He has also broken several transparency promises and commitment on spending. For more information, browse through our earlier posts on atr.org

For the pdf version of the press release click here.