Tags: mike lee | earmarks | voters | congress

Mike Lee: Earmarks Would Add to Disdain Voters Have for Congress

Image: Mike Lee: Earmarks Would Add to Disdain Voters Have for Congress
Sen. Mike Lee (AP)

By    |   Thursday, 18 January 2018 02:12 PM

The only pathway for Congress to earn back the trust of the American people is through transparency and accountability, not the return of earmarks, which wrought disdain in the first place, Sen. Mike Lee wrote in a column for the Washington Examiner.

Lee, a key cog of the tea party movement that helped eradicate earmarks seven years ago, is apoplectic that House lawmakers are actually devoting a hearing Thursday to their possible return.

"Earmarks were everything Americans couldn't stand about Washington — corrupt, wasteful, entitled, and out of touch," Lee wrote in the Examiner.

But now, the thought is that earmarks could help grease the skids on getting more accomplished in Congress and break the dysfunction that plagues both parties, a notion endorsed by President Donald Trump last week.

Lee vehemently disagrees.

"Like many terrible political arguments, it's superficially appealing," Lee writes. "Congress is indeed dysfunctional today. And earmarks probably would make it easier for party leaders to buy the votes they need to pass the bills they write.

"But the real problem here is this conceit that party leaders have a natural mandate to exclusively write legislation," writes Lee, R-Utah.

"Earmarks can't bring back that the trust Congress has squandered. Only transparency and accountability can do that," Lee writes. "The path of transparency and accountability would require members to do the hard work of learning about issues and forming and defending coherent positions.

"Earmarks would make life easier for politicians, but worse for the country. That Washington is even considering such a bargain explains why Congress is held in such disdain," Lee writes.

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Sen. Mike Lee says the only pathway for Congress to earn back the trust of the American people is through transparency and accountability, not the return of earmarks...
mike lee, earmarks, voters, congress
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2018-12-18
Thursday, 18 January 2018 02:12 PM
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