"As chairman of the Appropriations Committee, I don't care what happens to earmarks," Obey said. "I'll play that flat or round. You can keep them or dump them. The fact is, they are inconsequential in comparison to the other problems we face and less than half a percent of the budget."
Dorgan added, "It's a complete charade. You can get rid of every single earmark. It's not going to change one cent in federal spending. So it's just a — it's a charade trying to direct attention over here when the big issue is an unsustainable fiscal policy put in place largely by the — the 2001 tax cuts. Look, most of that benefit went to the wealthiest Americans. And here's where we are."
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.