Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid gave a forceful defense of congressional earmarks on Tuesday, a sign that bipartisan legislation to permanently ban pork-barrel spending will have a tough road in the Senate.
“I’ve done earmarks all my career, and I’m happy I’ve done earmarks all my career. They’ve helped my state, and they’ve helped different projects around the country,” an unapologetic Reid told reporters after the Democrats’ weekly caucus lunch. He called senators’ right to direct spending to pet projects in their home states is a “constitutional duty.”
The remarks came as Senators debated an amendment to the STOCK Act that would institute a permanent ban on earmarks.