From a speech by Ron Utt, of the Heritage Foundation: “Alaska’s infamous Bridge to Nowhere—included in the 2005 transportation reauthorization bill—was the spark that inflamed efforts to ban earmarks in federal programs. In response to widespread public ridicule and allegations of corruption, in 2010 congressional Republicans voted to ban earmarks from legislation.
Sadly, many in Congress are seeking to end that prohibition, and House leadership was successful in maintaining the prohibition only to the extent they could delay a vote on the issue until later in 2017.
With up to a trillion dollars now on the table, the political pressure by influential constituencies to grab taxpayer money through earmarking will be considerable. So it is essential that any massive infrastructure program include ironclad safeguards to ensure the funds are spent on the most effective projects.”
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