Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 6, 2015

Some Appropriators Long for Earmarks

Two senior Democratic appropriators called for a return to Congressional earmarking at Thursday morning’s Appropriations markup, a cry that’s all-but-certain to fall on deaf ears.

“I think one of the … serious mistakes we have made is to eliminate Congressionally-directed spending. Period,” Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., said. “What was done to us in this process was troubling, because whether we’re talking about a federal transportation bill, which used to be the most bipartisan measure considered by the House and Senate … or we’re talking about individual appropriation bills, members understand their states, understand their needs better than those who work as professional bureaucrats and others in state capitols or in this town.”

Durbin is also the chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee that funds Defense, taking over after the death of Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawaii.

Earmarks enjoy far less support among senators who don’t serve on the appropriations committee. Sen. Claire McCaskill is among the chamber’s most vocal opponents of the practice.

“I don’t think that we should ever decide the expenditures of public money based on seniority, party affiliation or committee assignment,” the Missouri Democrat said in a brief interview.

“I didn’t campaign against earmarks when I ran the first time. I just looked around when I got here and realized … they would pass around these slips of paper and it was like fairy dust was being sprinkled in a back room. I mean, this all needs to be on merit; it all needs to be on cost-benefit analysis,” McCaskill said. “I think the power of it is seductive. I think people enjoyed the accomplishment that they felt when they could see that they could wave a magic wand and this would be built …but I don’t think that’s a wise way to spend public funds.”

Earmark supporters disagree with McCaskill’s assessment about who can best determine project spending.

Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, said at the markup that he would stand behind each earmark that he had “gotten out of this committee in the last 29 years.”

“I stand by every one of them. Have they all been successful? Now, maybe not, but I think that they went for legitimate programs that either improved the quality of life or transportation or infrastructure or things like that,” Harkin said. “So, I hope that on both sides we can get back to where we take our Congressional obligation seriously and we provide for Congressionally-directed funding again.”

But, as the earmarking defense has continued, a lot has changed in a year.

The committee has a chairwoman for the first time in history (Maryland Democrat Barbara A. Mikulski) and two longtime Democratic members (Inouye and Frank R. Lautenberg of New Jersey) have died since the last markup. But even amid the partisan rancor over the top-line spending level, the comity remained largely intact.

“When I look — go back to the good old days, it was when Jamie Whitten could mumble and spend $25 billion bucks on ‘Ag’ in one mumble,” said Sen. Mark S. Kirk, R-Ill.

To which Mikulski replied: “I can mumble and rumble.”

Whitten served as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee from 1979 to 1992, with a much longer tenure holding the gavel of the Agriculture subcommittee, and an Agriculture Department building along the national mall bears his name.

Kirk, the ranking member on the Military Construction-VA subcommittee that drafted one of two bills endorsed Thursday, spoke about what the measure would do to combat the benefit claims backlog for veterans recovering from wartime injuries, including those has met while rehabbing from a stroke himself.

Kirk praised Mikulski and his “stroke-battle buddy” Military Construction-VA Chairman Tim Johnson, D-S.D.

“We just had a long, what I would describe as boring, conversation about national talking points. The same old tired partisan stuff, right as we were about to bring up Tim’s bill, which actually does solve the backlog problem,” Kirk said. “I would just hope this committee would get to its old-fashioned gut and get to the point of passing legislation which helps out a lot of Americans.”

Comments (59)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

author email

  1. Anonymous

    June 27, 2015
    4:58 a.m.

    Wow! Thank you! I continuously wanted to write on my site something like that. Can I take a fragment of your post to my website?

  2. Anonymous

    July 2, 2015
    12:23 p.m.

    Great write-up, I am normal visitor of one’s blog, maintain up the nice operate, and It is going to be a regular visitor for a long time.

  3. Anonymous

    July 4, 2015
    4:10 a.m.

    Yeah bookmaking this wasn’t a risky decision outstanding post! .

  4. Anonymous

    July 6, 2015
    6:21 p.m.

    I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz reply as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. thanks

  5. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    9:40 a.m.

    This is the right blog for anyone who wants to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just great!

  6. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    4:39 p.m.

    After I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I get 4 emails with the identical comment. Is there any approach you possibly can remove me from that service? Thanks!

  7. Anonymous

    July 11, 2015
    9:43 a.m.

    Excellent beat ! I would like to apprentice whilst you amend your web site, how could i subscribe for a weblog website? The account aided me a acceptable deal. I have been a little bit familiar of this your broadcast offered shiny transparent concept

  8. Anonymous

    July 12, 2015
    1:04 p.m.

    I’ll immediately grab your rss as I can not to find your e-mail subscription hyperlink or newsletter service. Do you have any? Please permit me recognise so that I could subscribe. Thanks.

  9. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    4:01 p.m.

    We stumbled over here from a different website and thought I may as well check things out. I like what I see so now i’m following you. Look forward to looking into your web page yet again.

  10. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    4:24 p.m.

    Im now not positive where you are getting your information, however good topic. I must spend a while studying much more or working out more. Thank you for magnificent information I used to be searching for this information for my mission.

  11. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    6:38 p.m.

    I have not checked in here for a while since I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are great quality so I guess I’ll add you back to my everyday bloglist. You deserve it my friend :)

  12. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    8:25 p.m.

    An interesting discussion is worth comment. I think that you should write more on this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but generally people are not enough to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers

  13. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    8:57 p.m.

    Have you ever considered publishing an ebook or guest authoring on other sites? I have a blog based on the same ideas you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information. I know my visitors would value your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an email.

  14. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    9:27 p.m.

    Greetings! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could locate a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having difficulty finding one? Thanks a lot!

  15. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    11:36 p.m.

    After examine a couple of of the blog posts in your website now, and I really like your manner of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website list and might be checking again soon. Pls try my web site as properly and let me know what you think.

  16. Anonymous

    July 14, 2015
    1:29 a.m.

    Good info. Lucky me I reach on your website by accident, I bookmarked it.

  17. Anonymous

    July 17, 2015
    8:04 a.m.

    Nice weblog right here! Also your web site loads up fast! What host are you using? Can I get your associate hyperlink in your host? I wish my site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  18. Anonymous

    July 17, 2015
    8:30 a.m.

    You made some decent factors there. I appeared on the web for the problem and found most individuals will go along with with your website.

  19. Anonymous

    July 20, 2015
    3:16 p.m.

    I’m not sure where you’re getting your info, but great topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for wonderful info I was looking for this info for my mission.

  20. Anonymous

    July 20, 2015
    7:08 p.m.

    Great remarkable issues here. I am very happy to peer your article. Thank you so much and i’m taking a look ahead to touch you. Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?

  21. Anonymous

    July 21, 2015
    4:54 a.m.

    I really appreciate this post. I’ve been looking everywhere for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thank you again

  22. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    10:06 a.m.

    Just want to say your article is as amazing. The clarity in your post is just spectacular and i could assume you’re an expert on this subject. Well with your permission let me to grab your feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the enjoyable work.

  23. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    7:06 a.m.

    Yay google is my queen assisted me to find this outstanding site! .

  24. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    8:58 a.m.

    Hi , I do believe this is an excellent blog. I stumbled upon it on Yahoo , i will come back once again. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and help other people.

  25. Anonymous

    July 28, 2015
    3:17 p.m.

    Good day! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I truly enjoy reading your posts. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same subjects? Thanks a lot!

  26. Anonymous

    July 30, 2015
    1:40 p.m.

    A person necessarily lend a hand to make seriously articles I would state. This is the first time I frequented your web page and to this point? I amazed with the analysis you made to create this particular put up amazing. Magnificent job!

  27. Anonymous

    July 31, 2015
    1:06 p.m.

    Hello, you used to write wonderful, but the last several posts have been kinda boringK I miss your great writings. Past several posts are just a bit out of track! come on!

  28. Anonymous

    Aug. 2, 2015
    3:38 p.m.

    Wow! This blog looks just like my old one! It’s on a entirely different subject but it has pretty much the same page layout and design. Outstanding choice of colors!

  29. Anonymous

    Aug. 3, 2015
    12:29 p.m.

    Hello! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay. I’m undoubtedly enjoying your blog and look forward to new updates.

  30. Anonymous

    Aug. 4, 2015
    8:12 p.m.

    Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch as I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thank you for lunch!

  31. Anonymous

    Aug. 7, 2015
    4:48 p.m.

    Hello my family member! I want to say that this post is awesome, nice written and come with approximately all vital infos. I would like to peer more posts like this .

  32. Anonymous

    Aug. 9, 2015
    10:43 p.m.

    I carry on listening to the newscast talk about getting boundless online grant applications so I have been looking around for the top site to get one. Could you tell me please, where could i get some?

  33. Anonymous

    Aug. 10, 2015
    2:46 a.m.

    I like what you guys tend to be up too. Such clever work and reporting! Keep up the wonderful works guys I’ve included you guys to blogroll.

  34. Anonymous

    Aug. 10, 2015
    12:41 p.m.

    hi!,I love your writing very a lot! share we keep in touch extra about your article on AOL? I need a specialist in this space to unravel my problem. May be that’s you! Taking a look forward to see you.

  35. Anonymous

    Aug. 11, 2015
    3:39 p.m.

    There is clearly a bundle to identify about this. I believe you made various nice points in features also.

  36. Anonymous

    Aug. 23, 2015
    5:23 p.m.

    As I site possessor I believe the content material here is rattling wonderful , appreciate it for your hard work. You should keep it up forever! Good Luck.

  37. Anonymous

    Aug. 23, 2015
    11:25 p.m.

  38. Anonymous

    Aug. 24, 2015
    6:32 a.m.

    Thank you for another informative website. The place else could I am getting that kind of info written in such an ideal approach? I have a venture that I am just now working on, and I have been at the glance out for such information.

  39. Anonymous

    Aug. 25, 2015
    8:33 a.m.

    I have not checked in here for a while because I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are great quality so I guess I will add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend :)

  40. Anonymous

    Aug. 26, 2015
    9:15 a.m.

    Utterly composed content, Really enjoyed looking at.

  41. Anonymous

    Sept. 1, 2015
    9:08 p.m.

    Hello! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could locate a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having problems finding one? Thanks a lot!

  42. Anonymous

    Sept. 2, 2015
    2:39 p.m.

    xRQyPV Thanks for sharing, this is a fantastic article.Much thanks again. Cool.

  43. Anonymous

    Sept. 2, 2015
    6:12 p.m.

    I’m not sure exactly why but this site is loading very slow for me. Is anyone else having this issue or is it a problem on my end? I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.

  44. Anonymous

    Sept. 3, 2015
    1:47 a.m.

    Whats up this is somewhat of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding skills so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  45. desene animate cu tom si jerry

    Sept. 9, 2015
    10:08 p.m.

    Major thankies for the post. Will read on…

  46. Anonymous

    Sept. 12, 2015
    8:40 p.m.

    Useful information. Lucky me I discovered your site by chance, and I am shocked why this coincidence did not took place in advance! I bookmarked it.

  47. Anonymous

    Sept. 13, 2015
    2:44 a.m.

    I cherished up to you’ll obtain carried out proper here. The comic strip is tasteful, your authored subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an edginess over that you want be turning in the following. sick unquestionably come more in the past once more as precisely the same just about a lot often inside of case you defend this increase.

  48. Anonymous

    Sept. 17, 2015
    8:32 a.m.

    As a Newbie, I am continuously exploring online for articles that can benefit me. Thank you

  49. Anonymous

    Sept. 17, 2015
    3:11 p.m.

    hello there and thank you for your information – I have certainly picked up anything new from right here. I did however expertise some technical issues using this web site, since I experienced to reload the site many times previous to I could get it to load correctly. I had been wondering if your web hosting is OK? Not that I am complaining, but slow loading instances times will very frequently affect your placement in google and could damage your quality score if ads and marketing with Adwords. Well I’m adding this RSS to my email and could look out for a lot more of your respective interesting content. Make sure you update this again soon..

  50. auto insurance esurance

    Sept. 20, 2015
    10:32 a.m.

    Thanks for the best info posted here.. Just waiting for update.

  51. state farm insurance company

    Sept. 20, 2015
    3:51 p.m.

    Save more with us and online auto insurance comparison. It takes only few minutes to get quotes and save on home or auto insurance policies.

  52. Anonymous

    Sept. 21, 2015
    9:24 a.m.

    I got good info from your blog

  53. amica ins

    Sept. 22, 2015
    3:35 a.m.

    Also I suggest everyone try our huge discounts on auto or home insurance

  54. amax insurance haltom city

    Sept. 22, 2015
    6:03 p.m.

    Its easy and fast to get insurance quotes by 5 digit zip code.

  55. federated mutual insurance company

    Sept. 23, 2015
    7:06 a.m.

    Get quotes by zip code and save up to 505 annually.

  56. Anonymous

    Sept. 23, 2015
    12:47 p.m.

    I have been exploring for a little for any high quality articles or blog posts in this kind of area . Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled upon this website. Reading this info So i¦m glad to show that I have a very excellent uncanny feeling I found out exactly what I needed. I most no doubt will make certain to do not put out of your mind this site and give it a glance regularly.

  57. Anonymous

    Sept. 27, 2015
    1:01 a.m.

    I was looking through some of your posts on this internet site and I conceive this internet site is rattling informative! Keep putting up.

  58. acuity for agents

    Oct. 1, 2015
    4:46 p.m.

    Choose our best quotes from mutual home and auto insurance companies. Save on policies!

  59. Anonymous

    Oct. 4, 2015
    5:11 a.m.

    I do agree with all the ideas you’ve presented in your post. They are really convincing and will certainly work. Still, the posts are too short for starters. Could you please extend them a little from next time? Thanks for the post.

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...