Earmarks begone | Arkansas Blog

Earmarks begone

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When Mitch McConnell announced he had caved on earmarks, you knew robovoting Sen.-elect John Boozman is would follow closely behind.

(I link to Jason Tolbert on the Boozman statement because the Boozman camp has generally not provided press services to the Arkansas Times. Will it also refuse taxpayer-financed press services equal to that provided others when he's a senator? We'll see, but given that a Huckabee was his campaign manager, I'm not overly optimistic. In his ardor to defend the Second Amendment, I hope the new senator doesn't forget the First.)

But never mind us. Republicans will presumably filibuster any earmarks now, thus potentially saving as much as three-tenths of one percent of the U.S. budget. Big whoop. What's unclear now is whether this will just effectively increase the spending power of the executive branch on individual projects. President Obama is all for this ban on earmarks, note.

In all the political hubbub about the earmark battle, I've so far found precious little reporting about whether money remains for broad categories of spending — such as specific local highway or park projects — and what the future holds for this work now.

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