A jarring report from Reuters this afternoon:
The huge federal transportation bill was in tatters in early March when U.S. Representative Mike Rogers posed a heretical idea for breaking through gridlock in the House.
In a closed-door meeting with fellow Republicans, Rogers recommended reviving a proven legislative sweetener that became politically toxic a year ago.
Bring back earmarks, Rogers told his colleagues.
Few members of Congress have been bold enough to use the “e” word since both the House and Senate temporarily banned the practice last year after public outcries about Alaska’s “Bridge to Nowhere” and other pork barrel projects.
But as lawmakers wrestle with legislative paralysis, there are signs that earmarks – special interest projects that used to be tacked onto major bills – could make a comeback.
Congressman Rogers said his comments were met with “a lot of applause” and were “very well embraced.” Reuters continued:
Below is a list of blogs from across the country which deal with the hot topics of the day:
As the battle for school choice continues in State Houses across the country, momentum is building to reduce the burden of the federal education bureaucracy. Representative Rob Bishop (R-UT) introduced the Academic Partnerships Lead Us to Success (A-PLUS) Act (H.R. 2514/S. 827) last summer in order to shift educational accountability away from the federal government and toward groups with the most at stake: parents and taxpayers.
A-PLUS would allow states to completely opt out of the onerous provisions of No Child Left Behind (NCLB)—the now infamous government expansion of federal control of the education sector—and would allow state leaders to direct education dollars and decision-making in a way that would best meet the needs of local students.
Earlier this month, Congressmen Todd Rokita (R-IN) Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) and Paul Broun, M.D. (R-GA) introduced the State Health Flexibility Act (H.R.4160), which would streamline federal Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) funding into a single block grant to the states, allowing them greater flexibility in providing care for their most vulnerable citizens. From the Republican Study Committee (RSC), this bill:
Congressman Justin Amash (R-MI), along with Congressman Jeff Flake (R-AZ), has introduced the Export-Import Bank Termination Act of 2012 (H.R.4268). As the name suggests, it would eliminate the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank, which in 2008, then-Senator Obama called “little more than a fund for corporate welfare.”
H.R.4268 would end the Ex-Im Bank three years after the bill’s enactment and would disallow the agency from accepting new loan or loan guarantee applications after thirty days of enactment. It would also halt the Bank from renewing or entering into a contract to provide a loan, insurance, or a guarantee, or participate in an extension of credit by another entity 12 months after the bill’s enactment. Basically, it begins the process of winding down the “Fannie Mae for exporters.”