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Ernst: Earmarks are nothing short of a belated Valentine to Washington special interests

Following a report that Democrats in Congress plan to reinstate earmarks, Ernst triples down on her effort to permanently ban this pork-making process.

WASHINGTON – Following reports that Washington Democrats plan to re-instate Congressional earmarks, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), known as the Senate’s leading foe of wasteful government spending, has a message for Washington:
“During my short time in the Senate, Congress has never needed to revert back to individual earmarks, so why now? This is nothing short of a belated Valentine to Washington special interests and lobbyists who have been chomping at the bit for this pork-making process to return,” Ernst said.  “Washington prioritizing politicians over struggling Americans is just the swamp returning to its normal habitat. It’s a disgrace. There’s simply no reason to go back to the old, wasteful and detrimental ways of earmarks. We need to permanently ban this bad practice—even if it makes some folks squeal.”
In an op-ed on January 25, Senator Ernst stated, “Pork was taken off the menu (temporarily, I guess) a decade ago after years of politicians literally pigging out on taxpayer dollars, earmarking millions for special interests and their own pet projects, like that infamous bridge to nowhere in Alaska. Some even went to jail for exchanging bribes over congressional pork. But now Congress wants to bring the bacon back to the legislative process.”
The Cedar Rapids Gazette writes, “Ernst, during a conference call with Iowa reporters Tuesday, called earmarks a ‘ham-fisted tactic’ that devoted taxpayer money to ‘special interests and (lawmakers’) own pet projects.’  She said earmarks were ‘particularly bad and wasteful in defense legislation.’”
Ernst has long been a supporter of efforts to permanently ban earmarks.