The Earmark Debate

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Here’s a web story from Scherer and me on the furor over the earmarks in the 2009 omnibus bill passed by the House yesterday. Roll Call’s Keith Koffler also reports today  that Obama tried, and failed, to convince Congress to trim some of the earmarks. An excerpt for those of you who don’t have Roll Call subscriptions:

According to a knowledgeable source, Obama pressed the lawmakers to keep earmarks out of spending bills but was resisted… Democratic leaders defended the practice, insisting that it was Members’ constitutional right to insert them on behalf of constituents’ projects that they deemed worthy, that Congress had markedly reduced the practice and that earmarks represented 1 percent of spending.