By Orion Donovan-Smith | The Spokesman-Review
Two years after congressional Democrats ended a decadelong moratorium on earmarks, a growing number of the Republicans who now control the House have embraced the revamped system of federal grants to fund local projects across the country, including in Eastern Washington.
Once derided as “pork-barrel spending” and banned over concerns that they enabled graft and wasted taxpayer dollars, only about half of House Republicans chose to request earmarks when they returned in 2021 with new measures meant to improve transparency.
Rep. Russ Fulcher, who represents North Idaho, and the Gem State’s two senators, Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, have all opted out of requesting earmarks since the practice returned. When Congress passed a bill to fund the government in December, Risch reiterated his opposition to earmarks, which he slammed as “pet project giveaways.”
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