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?span style='font:7.0pt "Times New Roman"'>         Return of the Swamp Creatures

Democrats prepare to bring back earmarks. Republicans should resist the temptation.

 

?span style='font:7.0pt "Times New Roman"'>         Beware the Return of the Earmarxists

Democrats have argued we need to return to pork-barrel politics to get Congress working again. It's an invitation for graft and corruption.

 

 

Return of the Swamp Creatures

Democrats prepare to bring back earmarks. Republicans should resist the temptation.

 

By Kimberley A. Strassel, Opinion, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ)

Feb. 18, 2021

 

Washington doesn抰 usually make it easy to pinpoint the moment when things went wrong. So thanks to Rep. Rosa DeLauro for publicly heralding the return of the swamp.

 

The announcement actually came from a spokesman for the House Appropriations Committee, which the Connecticut Democrat oversees. 揅hair DeLauro supports Member-directed funding for community projects,?Evan Hollander told HuffPost this week. For those uninitiated in Washington doublespeak, earmarks are back.

 

A few other English words to describe what抯 returning: Pork. Logrolling. Sleaze. Bridges to nowhere. Republicans banned earmarks in February 2011 after the term became synonymous with Congress抯 embarrassing habit. The late Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma had led a yearslong campaign to expose earmarks as a 揼ateway drug?to greater spending and corruption. In the face of a tea-party revolt, his colleagues finally chose wisdom.

 

Democrats are choosing power. According to reports, Ms. DeLauro and Senate Appropriations Chairman Patrick Leahy will soon announce that earmarks are welcome in annual spending bills. Why would Democrats risk such a move? Politico explains that House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer has reassured his party that it won抰 suffer, since the effort will be 揵ipartisan.?Democrats are banking on spend-thirsty Republicans to provide cover.

 

The question is whether the GOP will succumb, handing the Democratic leadership a uniquely powerful tool in today抯 narrowly divided Congress. Republicans may botch their first opportunity to draw a stark contrast in governance, wield some real power, and energize their base...

 

more, with subscription

https://www.wsj.com/articles/return-of-the-swamp-creatures-11613690674

 

 

Beware the Return of the Earmarxists

Democrats have argued we need to return to pork-barrel politics to get Congress working again. It's an invitation for graft and corruption.

 

John Hart, The Dispatch

Feb 19, 2021

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Hart served as U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn抯 longtime communications director and co-author, is the co-founder of the Conservative Coalition for Climate Solutions.

 

In 2010, my former boss, the late U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma), did something 搕he establishment?thought was impossible. He won an outsider, insurgent struggle against pork-barrel spending. Five years earlier, in 2005, we lost an amendment to kill a little-known pork barrel project that came to be called the Bridge to Nowhere in Alaska by 67 votes. The lopsided 82-15 tally actually made our victory possible. The loss didn抰 embarrass Coburn, it embarrassed Congress. The vote turned Coburn into a folk hero (the Wall Street Journal called him 揅oburn the Barbarian?, Parade magazine put the bridge on its cover, and millions of taxpayers were horrified to see just how out of touch and corrupt the modern Congress had become.?

 

After the 2010 Tea Party election, Sen. Mitch McConnell, who supported earmarks, actually put the ban into effect. 揙ld habits aren抰 easy to break,?McConnell said, 揵ut sometimes they must be. And now is such a time.?/p>

 

Every year since, politicians in both parties have said this was the year earmarks would be coming back. Every year they have been wrong. While the ban was bent, it never went away. Yet, with Democrats in control of all three branches of government, and Republicans shell-shocked, confused, and adrift in the age of post-Trump Trumpism, the earmark ban is under assault again.?

 

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) is approaching his colleagues with a political seduction ploy that is predictable, but no less grotesque for that. According to reports, Hoyer privately promised Democrats?earmarks would be limited to 搉onprofits?and for state and local government. He also promised Democrats they wouldn抰 take the heat for restarting a special interest spending orgy because it would be 揵ipartisan.?

 

The past few days have seen a parade of conventional wisdom arguments that are as baseless today as they were 10 and 20 years ago...

 

more, including links牋?

https://thedispatch.com/p/beware-the-return-of-the-earmarxists

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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