Orszag: Obama Will Sign Omnibus Despite Earmark Pledge

By Jennifer Parker

Mar 1, 2009 11:22am

During our exclusive interview today on "This Week" President Obama’s chief number cruncher, Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag, said the president will sign the 2009 omnibus spending bill, despite his campaign pledge to reduce earmarks.

The Senate is going to be debating an omnibus spending proposal that has several thousand earmarks. During the presidential campaign, Obama pledged to reduce earmarks to below 1994 levels — when the GOP took control of the House — or less than $7.8 billion a year.

Despite the earmarks, Orszag said Obama will sign the bill.

"This is last year’s business.  We want to just move on.  Let’s get this bill done, get it into law and move forward," Orszag said.

The OMB director said Obama intends to work on earmark reform in the future.

"We’re going to be working with the Congress," Orszag said. "We want to make sure that earmarks are reduced and they’re also transparent. We’re going to work with the Congress on a set of reforms to achieve those."

"But he signs this bill this year?" I asked Orszag.

"This is — this is last year’s business.  We just need to move on," he said.

–George Stephanopoulos

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