Chairman Inouye's Statement is below:
"The Constitution grants to the Congress the power of the purse. There is no authority more vital to the separation of powers than the one that prevents the executive branch from directly spending the tax dollars collected from its citizens. Depriving the Congress of the ability to direct money to specific projects does not save money or reduce the deficit, it simply gives additional power to the President, and weakens the legislative branch.
"As I stated when I announced the initial moratorium on appropriations earmarks last February, I continue to support the Constitutional right of members of Congress to direct investments to their states and districts under the fiscally responsible and transparent earmarking process that we have established.
"Hawaii is a long way from Washington, DC. It is simply not possible for a bureaucrat here in Washington to understand the needs of my home state as well as I do. Such is the case with all 50 states. Each one is unique, each one has individual challenges, and each one has issues that cannot be fully understood by civil servants located thousands of miles away.
"However, trust in the Congress is at an all time low. The Congress must pass, and the President must sign into law, a grand bargain that addresses spending, revenues and entitlements. In the meantime, we will continue our current moratorium on earmarks, and if any member submits a request that is an earmark as defined by Rule XLIV (44) of the Rules of the United States Senate for Fiscal Year 2013, we will respectfully return the request. I would note that for Fiscal Year 2012, our voluntary moratorium on appropriations earmarks was 100 percent successful.
"Over the past year, many of my colleagues have learned the hard way that being forced to request essential funding for their state puts them at a distinct disadvantage, and in many cases leaves them open to unseemly bargaining with the Executive branch. In the end, the Congress will have to choose between an open and transparent method for allocating targeted funding, or one that is done with phone calls, conversations, winks, and nods. One method allows for accountability and another leaves us all at the whim of unelected bureaucrats."