Earmarks roar back to life in spending bill
Congress recently approved a catch-all, $1.5 trillion spending bill that, for the first time in years, includes earmarks.
And not just a few. According to reporting in The Hill, there were more than 4,000 earmarks, consuming 367 of the bill’s 2,741 pages.
Like the earmarks of old, it was a feeding frenzy of pet causes and politics:
Other senators who racked up earmarks in the spending package are facing tough reelection races this year, including Sens. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.).
Kelly helped secure 12 earmarks related to transportation and HUD, about $11 million, and four earmarks related to energy and water projects worth $800,000, according to summaries provided by the Appropriations committees.
Cortez Masto successfully requested 15 transportation and HUD-related earmarks totaling $34.9 million and a $3 million earmark for Lake Mead in the energy and water development section. The Biden administration requested only $595,000 for the Lake Mead project.
Also getting in on the action were those worthies who have previously expressed their deep concerns about runaway government spending:
Centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who has repeatedly raised concerns about the impact of more federal spending on inflation, scored a lot of money for West Virginia in the transportation; housing and urban development; and energy and water development titles of the spending package.
Manchin tallied 28 earmarks worth nearly $41 million in the transportation and housing section of the bill and four earmarks totaling $8.3 million in the energy and water development section.
Because at bottom, even a cosplaying inflation hawk prefers to be seen as Santa Claus to the folks back home.