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Roll out the pork barrel

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The Freedom Caucus-led attack on earmarks had nothing to do with corruption — Mick Mulvaney, Ron DeSantis, and Mark Meadows were founding members — and everything to do with the fact that the Freedom Caucus doesn’t want the government to do anything but cut taxes for the upper class and borrow money to funnel to the Pentagon.

For legislators who actually want to govern, this is good news:

The House Appropriations Committee is preparing to restore a limited version of earmarks, which give lawmakers power to direct spending to their districts to pay for special projects.

Why it matters: A series of scandals involving members in both parties prompted a moratorium on earmarks in 2011. But Democrats argue it’s worth the risk to bring them back because earmarks would increase their leverage to pass critical legislation with a narrow majority, especially infrastructure and spending bills.

  • Plus, Democrats expect Republicans will join in the earmarks push once it’s clear directed spending is back.
  • There’s already evidence that some are getting on board. “As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I believe there is a time and a place for congressionally directed appropriations that are guided by a set of specific parameters,” Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) told Axios in a statement.

In a briefing with the Democratic caucus Friday morning, House Appropriations Committee chair Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) laid out some of the new guardrails to avoid a repeat of past scandals…

Make earmarks great again!

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