Aw, the House GOP is feeling so lonely for its old boyfriend Earmarks that it is going around Congress quietly surveying friends to see how mad everyone would be if it got back together with Earmarks. Everything was better with Earmarks, wasn’t it, GOP Rep. Steven LaTourette? “You can’t get 218 votes (out of 242 Republican House members) and part of that has to be if you can’t give people anything (earmarks), you can’t take anything away from them,” he complained. That’s adorable, the Republican Party is so depressed without Earmarks in its life that it can barely show up for work anymore. So romantic! Time for Act Two, in which a comical plot to bring Earmarks back is carefully hatched…
Secret enclaves! Risky public declarations of love!
In a closed-door meeting with fellow Republicans, [Alabama Rep. Mike] Rogers recommended reviving a proven legislative sweetener that became politically toxic a year ago.
Bring back earmarks, Rogers, who was first elected to Congress in 2002, told his colleagues.
Few members of Congress have been bold enough to use the “e” word since both the House and Senate temporarily banned the practice last year after public outcries about Alaska’s “Bridge to Nowhere” and other pork barrel projects.
But as lawmakers wrestle with legislative paralysis, there are signs that earmarks – special interest projects that used to be tacked onto major bills – could make a comeback.
“I just got up … and did it because I was mad because they were talking about how we can’t get 218 votes,” Rogers told Reuters, referring to the minimum of 218 votes needed to pass legislation in the 435-member House.
“There was a lot of applause when I made my comments. I had a few freshmen boo me, but that’s okay. By and large it was very well embraced,” he added.
Aw. Where will this story go in Act Three? Somewhere happy, we are pretty sure. Definitely. [Reuters]