Republican Senator Mike Lee Argues Return of Earmarks Means Corrupt Congress

Republican Senator from Utah Mike Lee openly spoke against the use of earmarks, calling them the “original Swamp Thing.”

The senator said in a written statement for The Washington Examiner that people nowadays haven’t heard about earmarks, adding that earmarks are what Americans  “couldn’t stand about Washington — corrupt, wasteful, entitled, and out of touch.”

“Remember earmarks, those infamous, special-interest spending provisions party leaders used to sprinkle over legislation like sugar to get representatives and senators to hold their noses and vote yes on bills they would otherwise oppose?” Lee stated in The Washington Examiner.

“But on Thursday, a House committee will hold a hearing to see about bringing them back,” Lee wrote, adding that “earmarks were the original Swamp Thing, and just like in Hollywood, Washington is never above an ill-advised sequel to make a quick buck.”

The senator called Congress “dysfunctional,” adding that earmarks “probably would make it easier for party leaders to buy the votes they need to pass the bills they write.”

“But the real problem here is this conceit that party leaders have a natural mandate to exclusively write legislation. Earmarks can’t bring back the trust Congress has squandered. Only transparency and accountability can do that,” he continued.

Lee concluded his statement by saying Congress will eventually “restore itself to its proper role in the federal government and in American life.”

“Earmarks are just one more bad idea we need to discard before we finally face the truth and do our jobs. Just say no to the return of Swamp Thing.”

The Hill reported that on Wednesday, lawmakers from both parties expressed support for reversing the House’s ban on earmarks, despite scepticism from key conservatives who originally pushed to end the practice nearly a decade ago.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump approved of the return of earmarks saying that they will help Congress function better.

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