President Donald Trump’s call to bring back earmarks is the “antithesis” of draining the swamp, a government watchdog said in a statement Tuesday.
Citizens Against Government Waste President Tom Schatz’s remark followed Trump’s remarks that earmarks should make a comeback to help bridge the partisan divide, during a meeting.
“Earmarks are the antithesis of the ‘drain the swamp’ election that sent President Trump to the White House,” Schatz said in the statement. “They are corrupt, inequitable, and wasteful. We urge President Trump to reconsider and withdraw his recommendation upon consideration of the sordid history of earmarks.”
Earmarks are a now-outlawed practice where lawmakers would insert language into bills that would fund projects to their home districts. Such pork barrel spending has cost taxpayers nearly $330 billion since 1991, according to Citizens Against Government Waste.
“I think we should look at a form of earmarks,” Trump said, The Washington Times reported. “One thing it did is it brought everybody together.”
Supporters have asserted that earmarks could be used as a bargaining chip for passing legislation.
The House plans to hold hearings to determine the benefits and disadvantages to reinstating ear marks, Fox News recently reported.
“Earmarks are a lazy, unfair and corrupt way to circumvent the authorization and appropriations process,” Schatz said in his statement. “They have been roundly excoriated by the conservative movement upon which Republicans depend for their political lives.”
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