Watchdogs Fear Backdoor Earmarking

Tuesday, 28 Dec 2010 03:29 PM

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Leave it to politicians to find a way to kill a good idea.

Organizations that fight government waste fear 2011 will mark the year of backdoor earmarking — as congressmen write letters and make phone calls to federal agencies to save their pet projects, The Hill reports. So the focus may have to shift to "letter-marking" and "phone-marking" from earmarking.

earmarks, letter, marksHouse and Senate Republicans have adopted a voluntary moratorium on earmarks for the next Congress. But, “Earmarkers are still earmarkers in Congress, and they are going to still try to find a way to spend money,” David Williams, vice president of policy at Citizens Against Government Waste, tells The Hill. “This may become the new way to earmark, the new pork.”

Steve Ellis of the Taxpayers for Common Sense says, “With the earmark moratorium, it is like squeezing a balloon — the pressure just shifts to letter-marking and phone-marking.”



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