Any “Republican revolution” in Congress is going to shoot itself in the foot badly if GOP lawmakers are so tone deaf that they restore intolerable pork-barrel spending generically known as earmarks.
A House proposal last week to bring back legislative earmarks for some government agencies got postponed by GOP members, who agreed to push back the issue to the first quarter of 2017, CNN reports. In 2014, another measure to restore the money grubbing crashed and burned in a GOP conference, according to The Daily Signal.
The House banned earmarks in 2010 for good reason — they were flagrantly abused as lawmakers sneaked into law billions of dollars in wasteful spending. And oftentimes the profligacy wasn’t revealed until the bills became law.
Among the more outrageous abuses was $220 million in 2005 for the infamous “bridge to nowhere” in a remote area of Alaska. Fortunately, that appropriation died but not before it became the symbol of wasteful earmarks.
The last time the GOP controlled the White House and Congress, an earmark explosion contributed to Republicans losing control of Congress. Now, nary a week after the presidential election of Donald Trump and his campaign’s rally cry to “drain the swamp,” some Republicans want to reopen the floodgates.
If they’re arrogant enough to restore earmarks, regardless of any “safeguards,” House Republicans will find themselves once again in the cross hairs of an angry electorate.
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