Earmarks a Carrot for an Infrastructure Package?
Speeding a complex, multi-year infrastructure initiative through Congress will be largely impossible without Republican support due to Senate rules. To make negotiations easier, Democrats rescinded a 2011 ban on spending earmarks. Rep. Graves (Ranking Member of the House Transportation Committee) said “I’ve always been in favor of members of Congress making the decisions and not bureaucrats, when it comes to funding projects back home.” Earmarks could promulgate bipartisan support and Democrats plan to allow them on transportation and water infrastructure bills as well as annual appropriations bills. Earmarked spending will be capped, disclosed on the Internet, and certified not to benefit the member and/or his/her family member. Stay tuned to see if the carrot worked!