Earmarks would not have solved the current government shutdown, which is the result of an impasse between congressional Democrats and President Trump over funding the president's border wall.
Although earmarks are worth reconsidering as a way of greasing the legislative wheels, I would argue that the case for them is mixed.
These are blatant earmarks
, as explained by TCS, which also pointed out that the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee added $5.6 billion to the procurement account for these items, while its Senate counterpart added a more generous $6.2 billion.
In fact, the potential for the executive branch to misuse funds entrusted to it is also a reason for restoring earmarks
. One way Congress holds the administration accountable is through authorization bills that set national policy and recommend funding levels.
Here's another dirty secret: Earmarks
don't actually cost anything.
Therefore, the power conceded by Congress in foregoing earmarks
flows to the President.
This same set of earmarks
included $149,-984 for the University of Illinois-Jane Addams Hull House Museum in support of its "Hungry for Peace" initiative.
It also wouldn't be farfetched to say that the inability to use earmarks
strengthened the extreme tea-party whippersnapper members in Congress at the expense of their senior and moderate Republican colleagues, who were no longer able to go home with a list of all the pork procured for their constituents.
"You know you can choose the various insiders who've spent I think some 63 years in the United States Congress or Obama, they are the ones who got us into debt, they're the ones who've been voting for these earmarks
," he said.
The brief also contests the lower court's conclusion that the case is moot because the money has already been paid, explaining that an earmark
like this could be repeated.
But we know that the list of projects and programs for which he secured federal help, through both earmarks
and standard appropriations, is long.
are generally associated with "pork-barrel" spending.
Heath and reporter Hal Bernton shared the award for "The Favor Factory," a Seattle Times series exposing congressional graft by linking earmarked
votes to campaign contributions.
Are Congressionally Originated Earmarks
One option is a congressional earmark
, a legislative provision that directs appropriated funds for specific projects in districts and states.