Earmark Reform Could Cost Bipartisanship, Test GOP Comity:


The process of earmarking often unites lawmakers across party lines for the purpose of bringing money back to their state and respective districts. The Hill newspaper reports that this bipartisan behavior, rare nowadays on Capitol Hill, could be lost in the wake of earmark reform. The Transportation Bill, which passed the House 412-8, is a symbol of this process, where lawmakers put their pet projects in, and “[exchange] pleasantries on the floor.” In a related story on the pressures of earmark reform the comity of the Republican Conference is being tested. The Washington Times reports that Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA) and other House Republicans are backing the practice of earmarking while conservative stalwart Jeff Flake (R-AZ) denounces the pushback against reform by stating, “The Empire is striking back.”