Committee Chair Maps Out Path to Reinstate Earmarks

first_imgA modified version of congressional earmarks could be in place by the time fiscal 2019 spending bills are crafted and, possibly, by the time lawmakers advance an infrastructure bill this year, under plans House Rules Committee Chair Pete Sessions (R-Texas) described to reporters Tuesday. “We’ve kicked around what we think we might do and in fact we think we might start with a process of one, two, or three areas and make that work and gain confidence — as opposed to the whole ball of wax,” Sessions said, reported CQ.He stressed that if House Republicans vote to lift the current moratorium on earmarks, the spending tool would be significantly changed from when it last was allowed prior to 2011. “This is draining the swamp. If you think we are going back where we were, you have missed the boat,” Sessions said. The new format would provide a greater opportunity for members and states to provide input on how money is allocated, he said. “It’s important that as we pass an appropriations bill [we] know what projects are in it, the administration knows what’s in it.”The Rules Committee will hold two hearings this week on the issue, one will provide members a chance to weigh in and the other will gather testimony from policy experts.Photo by the Architect of the Capitol Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img