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As the complete disaster Democrats experienced downticket continues to sink in, Democrats are scrambling to figure out how to govern with a razor-thin House majority. To that end, Nancy Pelosi’s right-hand man and the number two House Democrat Steny Hoyer is floating the return of earmarks.
The Democrats’ House majority is smaller than that of any since FDR was president. As we’ve noted here at LI, this means that Pelosi can’t afford to lose more than four (or so, all races have not yet been called) Democrat votes on any piece of legislation. So naturally, Democrats are eager to resurrect the earmarks that the Tea Party was instrumental in stopping back in 2011.
Americans saw the way earmarks were used to bribe ‘blue dog’ Democrat into voting for ObamaCare—who can forget the “Louisiana purchase” or the “Cornhusker kickback“?—, and the American people made it crystal clear that they would not tolerate their hard-earned tax dollars being spent on buying votes for legislation they reject.
A ‘moratorium’ was placed on earmarks in 2011, and in 2014, then-House Speaker John Boehner banned a return to earmarks.
After the disastrous 2010 midterm “shellacking” of Democrats, then-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced his support of the Boehner-led House moratorium on earmarks (archive link). Just last year, Senate Republicans, under Senate Majority Leader McConnell’s leadership, permanently banned earmarks.
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