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Would Bringing Back Pork-Barrel Spending End Government Shutdowns?

January 07, 2019 / Diana Evans

For eight years, Congress has banned the use of earmarks, otherwise known as “pork-barrel spending.” Earmarks paid for pet projects of legislators back in their districts, as a way of encouraging those officials’ votes for a spending bill. But earmarks were seen by many members of the public as wasteful and distasteful. Even some lawmakers didn’t like them. “Earmarks are the gateway drug to spending addiction,” said Sen. Tom Coburn, a Republican from Oklahoma, in 2007.