Few words in the congressional vocabulary are as profane as “earmark.”
Capitol Hill leaders essentially scrubbed earmarks from the congressional experience a few years ago. They toppled the earmarking process like statues of Communist dictators in Eastern Europe, circa 1989.
Earmarks were dispatched to the dustbin of history.
The problem is that congressional “earmarks” epitomized what the public viewed was wrong with Washington. So the House and Senate — along with President Barack Obama — ditched them.
But the earmarks could soon rise from the dead.
Fox has learned that House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions, R-Texas, under the direction of House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., plans to conduct hearings evaluating the merits and demerits of restoring some forms of earmarks.
Republicans nearly reinstated earmarks in the fall of 2016 before Ryan singlehandedly spiked the effort.
In mid-November 2016, House GOPers huddled in the ornate House Ways and Means Committee hearing room, in the Longworth Office Building, across the street from the Capitol. They plotted new internal rules for the 115th Congress that would start in January, 2017.