Are Earmarks Really Dead?

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At www.rollcall.com

The biennial fight over earmarks came and went this year with barely a peep. While the issue has not been permanently put to rest, the informal ban on congressionally directed funding appears to have staying power. House and Senate Republicans adopted internal prohibitions on earmarks this month, and while Senate Democrats have yet to make it official, they'll likely follow suit if for no other reason than the GOP's position would make any Democratic-sponsored earmarks dead on arrival in the House. 'Having heard nothing to the contrary, we are presuming that the current moratorium on earmarks will stay in place in the next Congress,' a Senate Democratic aide said. Sen. Patrick J. Toomey, who authored the Senate GOP's most recent ban, said the earmark moratorium has persisted because so many Republican lawmakers now support it.

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At www.rollcall.com

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