Are the Days of Pork Barrel Spending Back?

Congress passed a US$1.3 trillion spending bill last Thursday, March 22 – only narrowly averting a third government shutdown this year. President Trump signed the bill into law on Friday.

Congress’s inability to pass spending bills on schedule has produced unrelenting frustration and criticism by commentators and members of Congress alike.

Because the congressional budgeting process has become so dysfunctional, many suggest that a return to earmarks, popularly known as “pork-barrel spending,” would grease the wheels for appropriations bills. An earmark is money provided for an individual project in an elected official’s district, as a way of encouraging that official’s vote for a spending bill.

A return to earmarking – for projects ranging from new bridges to museum funding to renewable energy research, tailored for individual members’ districts – would require lifting a 2011 moratorium imposed on the practice.

Read more at Government Executive.

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