2 thoughts on “Warner, Webb vote AGAINST earmark moratorium.”

  1. I think Wiki has a pretty good description:

    “Critics argue the ability to earmark Federal funds should not be part of the legislative appropriations process [3]. Tax money should be applied by Federal agencies according to objective findings of need and carefully constructed requests rather than being earmarked arbitrarily by elected officials. Supporters of earmarks however, feel that elected officials are better able to prioritize funding needs in their own districts and states and that it is more democratic for these officials to make discreet funding decisions than unelected civil servants. Critics counter that elected representatives have too much of a vested interest in their own districts and do not have the Nation’s interests as a whole in mind when making these decisions with taxpayer money.”


    So earkmarking is not expanding the cost of the budget… but instead allows elected officials to direct some of the total funds for a specific project – as opposed to letting the Government Agency do so within it’s normal procedures – like for instance, if they have a series of qualification criteria that might result in no funding for that project – the elected officials essentially bypass the qualification and ranking procedures.

    So the Feds give a bunch of money to FHWA, who in turn, allocate to each state including Virginia their “share” of the total money .. along with a line item for dedicated funding for a Slave Museum.

    I don’t care for the process but some elected officials view it as a type of “constituent service” to “deliver” for projects that have community support (or have provided strong support for the elected official on other matters and/or at election time).

    It’s politics with a capital “P”.

  2. I forgot to mention. It can also be used at the Fed Level.

    For instance, Webb and Warner could essentially DIRECT the Pentagon to buy more MRAP vehicles that they decided to buy… or de-fund some project that the Pentagon wants to build and Webb/Warner disagree.. etc…

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