Tags: club for growth | earmarks | republicans | lose the house

Club for Growth Rips GOP on Earmarks: Will 'Lose the House'

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House GOP members applaud as Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah signs the final version of the GOP tax bill on Dec. 21, 2017. (Andrew Harnik/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 09 January 2018 07:03 PM

The Club for Growth warned Tuesday that President Donald Trump's suggestion to bring back congressional earmarks "virtually guarantees that [Republicans] will lose the House" in this year's elections.

"Bringing back earmarks is the antithesis of draining the swamp," Club for Growth President David McIntosh said in a statement.

"Earmarks will only benefit the special interests that grow government at the expense of working men and women."

Pet projects and spending items added to appropriations bills on behalf of individual lawmakers, earmarks send taxpayer dollars to lawmakers' districts outside the competitive process required for other federal spending.

They have long been criticized as examples of excessive government spending.

Trump floated the idea of returning to earmarks in a meeting with a bipartisan group of lawmakers on immigration at the White House.

"Our system lends itself to not getting things done, and I hear so much about earmarks — the old earmark system — how there was a great friendliness when you had earmarks," the president said.

"But of course, they had other problems with earmarks," Trump added. "But maybe all of you should start thinking about going back to a form of earmarks."

House Republicans are considering changing their rules to allow a limited return of earmarks, though with new restrictions and reforms to limit the potential for abuse.

Marc Short, White House director of legislative affairs, said President Trump floated the idea because of angst about congressional gridlock.

"The president is frustrated with Congress' inability to get things done in a bipartisan fashion," Short told Wolf Blitzer on CNN.

"There's something said back in the day that with earmarks, it provided the grease to get things done," he added.

"But there's plenty of arguments to say it also did help create a swamp condition here — and people were incentivized to vote for a bill for the wrong reasons."

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The Club for Growth warned Tuesday that President Donald Trump's suggestion to bring back congressional earmarks "virtually guarantees that [Republicans] will lose the House" in this year's elections.
club for growth, earmarks, republicans, lose the house
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2018-03-09
Tuesday, 09 January 2018 07:03 PM
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