- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said Wednesday it’s a “huge mistake” for Republicans to support restoring the practice of earmarks in government spending bills.

“I wish they hadn’t. I think that’s a huge mistake,” Mr. Norquist, the longtime anti-tax crusader, said in an interview. “You do not win votes by doing that.”

House Republicans on Wednesday narrowly voted to support restoring the practice of earmarks, which are line items or individual projects that are put into spending bills at the behest of individual members, after a decade-long ban.

Congressional Democrats had already laid out their own path to restore the practice, which members prefer to call “congressionally directed spending” or “community project funding.”

“This is not how you ever win an election,” Mr. Norquist said. “No Republican wins because of earmarks. This is stupid. Some could lose for it, but it’s very unwise. And people in safe seats have no business endangering everybody else this way.”

Defenders of the practice say there will be new guardrails in place to prevent abuse and that earmarks could foster more bipartisanship when it comes to negotiating government funding bills if individual members can claim their piece of the pie.

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