Earmark Reform Has Large Loophole:


Last week the Senate passed a lobbying and ethics reform bill that included reforms to the earmarking process that would require nonfederal earmarks to be made public 24 hours before a vote allow members to challenge any nonfederal earmark. The Kansas City Star notes that, “A mammoth loophole remains in that the restrictions would apply only to spending on ‘nonfederal’ projects: ones for local or state government or other nonfederal administrators, such as a museum or Indian tribe. Earmarks for federal agencies would not be affected.” Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who voted against the reform bill, is unimpressed by the earmarking reform: “We haven’t addressed the issue of earmarks, which has bred the lobbyists which has bred corruption. Earmarking is the genesis of all these egregious abuses.” McCain did state that there will be more opportunities for the Congress to enact more serious reform, “The good news is there will be more indictments, and I think we will be revisiting this issue, if not this year, the next year.”

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