Tags: housefreedomcaucus | earmarks | taxpayers

House Freedom Caucus Draw Line in Sand on Earmarks

House Freedom Caucus Draw Line in Sand on Earmarks
 Rep. Warren Davidson at the Capitol on June 9, 2016 in Washington, D.C. Davidson. (Gabriella Demczuk/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 24 February 2021 03:54 PM

Members of the House Freedom Caucus have drawn a line in the sand over earmarks, congressional provisions directing funds to be spent on specific, or “pet” projects, typically at the request of a lawmaker, reports Politico.

Democrats are pushing to bring back a “reformed” version of the earmark process to fund “community projects.” Some Republicans have warmed to the idea as well. Earmarks were banned in 2011 amid the Tea Party wave.

“They’re a bad idea. I’m opposed to them,” Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, a member of the Freedom Caucus, told Politico. “They’ve been described as a gateway drug toward corruption.”

“I am totally against it,” added Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, a co-founder of the group. "I don’t think Republicans should be supportive of earmarks.”

Rep. Garret Graves, R-La., told the news outlet earmarks would be acceptable in certain instances.

“Earmarks never really went away. They just moved from Congress to the administration, I think, with less scrutiny and transparency,” he said. “The key is transparency and making sure you actually have criteria that ensures you’re getting the best return on investment.”

Over $375 billion in taxpayer funds has been earmarked to pet projects since 1991, according to Citizens Against Government Waste. Some projects include the $223 million “Bridge to Nowhere” in Alaska and the $3.4 million tunnel for turtles in Florida.

Republicans are circulating a letter in the House and Senate to send to Appropriations chairs in both chambers in support of banning earmarks entirely, according to a source who spoke with Fox News.

The letter has over a dozen cosigners and is planning for many more.

"We're telling all the Republicans, if you stand against the swamp and you want to drain the swamp, the greatest thing the swamp, D.C., and lobbyists love would be earmarks. Bringing it back would be basically giving in to the swamp," the source said. 

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Politics
Members of the House Freedom Caucus have drawn a line in the sand over earmarks, congressional provisions directing funds to be spent on specific, or "pet" projects...
housefreedomcaucus, earmarks, taxpayers
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2021-54-24
Wednesday, 24 February 2021 03:54 PM
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