Harry Reid, Democrats: Earmarks Could Ease Gridlock

Image: Harry Reid, Democrats: Earmarks Could Ease Gridlock

Wednesday, 07 May 2014 01:01 PM

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is pining for the lost days of earmarked spending bills, and he’s not the only Democrat hoping to revive the banned practice of lawmakers funding pet projects back home, The Washington Times reported.

"I have been a fan of earmarks since I got here the first day," the Nevada Democrat told reporters Tuesday.

Urgent: Do You Think There is a Cover-up on Benghazi? Vote Now in Urgent Poll

Reid described earmarking — lawmakers directing funds to voter-pleasing projects in their districts — as a legitimate negotiating tool that could help untie a gridlocked Congress.

Budget hawks have long cited earmarks as prime examples of pork-barrel spending for dubious home-state projects — like Alaska’s never completed $300 million "bridge to nowhere."

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Barack Obama oppose earmarks, despite grumbling from respective allies on Capitol Hill. But now, more than three years since House Republicans handed down an outright ban, Reid and other Senate Democrats are testing Washington’s resolve on the issue.

"That [earmarking] was the glue that held everybody together, Democrats and Republicans, working for a common goal," Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat, told reporters in his home state.

Such talk has prompted the more spending-conscious senators to rally behind the existing moratorium. But the Times reported that only 11 senators had, as of Tuesday, signed on to an anti-earmarks letter put forward by Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn and Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall.

"Congress has ample flexibility to exercise its power of the purse," the letter states, "and represent the interests of our constituents without using earmarks."

That may be part of the problem, according to some budget watchdogs who say that while the ban has cut spending by billions annually, Congress still finds ways around it.

Urgent: Do You Think There is a Cover-up on Benghazi? Vote Now in Urgent Poll

Related Stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Retype Email:
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Mitch McConnell's Campaign Manager Resigns Amid Iowa Scandal

Friday, 29 Aug 2014 21:55 PM

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's campaign manager resigned Friday amid fallout from a scandal in Iowa involving  . . .

Obama: GOP Captive to Ideologically Rigid Group

Friday, 29 Aug 2014 21:17 PM

President Barack Obama on Friday blamed dysfunction in Congress on a Republican Party he said is captive to an ideologic . . .

Ralph Nader: Democrats Aren't Serious About Raising Minimum Wage

Friday, 29 Aug 2014 21:01 PM

Consumer advocate and five-time presidential candidate Ralph Nader is furious at both Democrats and Republicans for fail . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved