Roll Call (and subsequently Breitbart) say members of Congress have figured out a way to circumvent the ban on earmarks. Their prime example? The $250 million in President Barack Obama‘s budget for Honolulu’s rail system.
Here’s part of what Roll Call writes:
Banning earmarks in the traditional sense was a top priority for Republicans when they won back the House in 2010, and the president’s call for the ban in his State of the Union the following January reinforced it. But prohibiting pork has not stopped lawmakers from asking the administration to protect their parochial interests. After the Senate Appropriations panel approved two spending bills last week, Senate Appropriations Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) and Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) issued a press release celebrating a $250 million railway project for Honolulu…
Sources in both parties say this boasting last week is probably just the beginning. Even with the momentum on Capitol Hill trending against government spending, lawmakers looking to show their constituents they’re attentive to their needs likely will brag about budget wins back home — especially in an election year.