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All about Earmarks

While this short article doesn’t have everything about earmarks, it should be of interest to anyone who does reference work on Congress, particularly legislative histories and spending.  It provides an interesting bit of history while describing some practial details and laying out some of the past and current polital battles over "congressional provisions directing that funds already authorized be spent on specific projects" (Wikipedia definition of political earmarks). Did you know, for example that some earmarks  "are listed in the reports accompanying spending bills, rather than in the text of the laws themselves"? Or that "airdropping" is  "the practice of including earmarks in spending bills after they have passed either the House or Senate"? Yikes!

 And, for those interested in current politics, it has insights into the current climate as Congress braces for a potential executive order by President Bush directing agencies to ignore spending earmarks:

"This is about more than earmarks; this is about moving decisions from Congress to the executive branch," one former senior congressional aide said. "I’m not sure what the strategy here is, maybe just an opportune time to grab power away from that meddlesome Congress. … It should be more than just appropriators that care about this."

See also: CongressLine by GalleryWatch.com: The Earmark Reality By Paul Jenks, September 28, 2007 LLRX.


CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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