KM: On the flight in this week, it just happened that sitting next to me was Gary Hart. We were having a kind of generational talk about Washington. And one of the things he pointed out that was wrong with Washington was earmarks. He said Republicans and Democrats had both been poisoned by earmarks.
Our Republican majority ended the practice of earmarks, which often diverted transportation spending to politically favored projects.
House Republicans have so thoroughly stacked the earmarking deck in their favor in appropriations bills for the upcoming fiscal year that the top Democratic recipient doesn’t even appear in the top 60 among lawmakers in that chamber.
In their first year in the majority since Congress in 2021 brought back the practice Republicans banned a decade earlier, GOP lawmakers are spreading nearly $7.4 billion among 4,714 individual projects tucked inside the fiscal 2024 appropriations bills.
While Democrats requested 65 percent of those earmarks, they are receiving less than 38 percent of the dollars at nearly $2.8 billion, a CQ Roll Call analysis found.
Republicans argue that’s only fair; Democrats gave themselves roughly the same percentage when they were in charge. But Democrats allowed Republicans the largest individual hauls in that chamber last year, and eight out of the top 10 earmarkers in initial fiscal 2023 bills were GOP members.