Tags: congress | earmarks | donald trump | house | republicans

Trump Endorses Return of Earmarks as House GOP Weighs Change

Trump Endorses Return of Earmarks as House GOP Weighs Change

President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Tuesday, 09 January 2018 05:39 PM

President Donald Trump has waded into a brewing controversy in the House and endorsed the return of so-called earmarks — pet projects and spending items added to appropriations bills on behalf of individual lawmakers.

"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," Trump told a group of lawmakers at Tuesday's White House meeting on immigration. "But of course, they had other problems with earmarks. But maybe all of you should start thinking about going back to a form of earmarks."

Trump's remarks came as House Republicans are weighing a change to their rules to permit a limited return of earmarks, though with a new set of restrictions and reforms to limit the potential for abuse.

Earmarks send taxpayer dollars to projects in lawmakers' districts outside the competitive process required for other federal spending.

House Republicans banned earmarks when they retook the House in 2011. Top Republicans, led by then-Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, argued that they corrupted lawmakers and caused them to support bad legislation simply to shovel taxpayer money back home. It was common, for instance, to solicit campaign donations from those who received the earmarks, as well as the lobbyists who advocated for them.

Former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, R-Calif., took bribes in exchange for earmarks and spent seven years in prison.

There's widespread support among lawmakers to revive earmarks, though with safeguards to avoid a repeat of the problems of the past.

Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., did not seem sympathetic when asked about earmarks Tuesday. Asked if earmarks are making a comeback, Ryan said, "Conversations are having a comeback."

Ryan was central to squelching an effort a year ago to revive earmarks. Groups opposing earmarks swiftly attacked the idea of their return.

"Bringing back earmarks is the antithesis of draining the swamp," said Club for Growth President David McIntosh, whose group helps finance campaigns of staunch conservatives. "Earmarks will only benefit the special interests that grow government at the expense of working men and women."

Since the ban was imposed, however, it has been more difficult to pass the annual appropriations bills, which has recently been done only in the form of long-overdue, catch-all spending bills known as "omnibus" measures.

"You should do it, and I'm there with you, because this system really lends itself to not getting along," Trump said. "It lends itself to hostility and anger."

The Rules Committee is holding hearings next week on the topic. Chairman Pete Sessions, R-Texas, is sympathetic to the return of earmarks, but said the hearings would help identify ways to reform the process.

© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Politics
President Donald Trump has waded into a brewing controversy in the House and endorsed the return of so-called earmarks - pet projects and spending items added to appropriations bills on behalf of individual lawmakers.
congress, earmarks, donald trump, house, republicans
445
2018-39-09
Tuesday, 09 January 2018 05:39 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

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