WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

GOP Freshmen Renege On Earmark Ban

Play associated audio
Area Republicans in the House see nothing inconsistent with supporting earmarks for local manufacturing.
Area Republicans in the House see nothing inconsistent with supporting earmarks for local manufacturing.

Some freshmen Republicans in the region are looking for U.S. House leaders to relax a ban on earmarks so they can help manufacturers in their districts. This, despite campaigning on pledges to ban Congressional earmarking.

Earmark is one of the dirtiest words in Washington these days, but now a debate is swirling over its definition. Republicans leaders were asked by 65 House members to exempt a tariff bill from a ban on earmarking. The 600 some odd tariff exemptions only help a small number of manufacturers bring supplies into the U.S. at reduced rates.

Virginia Republican Congressman Scott Rigell denies that they're earmarks, because any company can purchase the products, though precious few will.

"Well, I do believe it's fully consistent with our ban on earmarks, and I think that the ban on earmarks in this Congress in contrast to previous Congress sessions is really admirable," said Rigell.

Arizona Republican Senator John McCain has been a leading voice of opposition to earmarks in Congress. While he's still looking into the specifics of this latest attempt to bypass the earmark ban, he says something smells fishy: "It smacks of earmarks. People will always try to get around the ban."

Two other freshman Republicans from the region also signed the letter asking for tariffs to be exempted from the earmark ban: Maryland's Andy Harris and Virginia's Morgan Griffith.

WAMU 88.5

Anne Tyler: "A Spool Of Blue Thread" (Rebroadcast)

In her first live radio interview ever, Pulitzer Prize winning author Anne Tyler joins Diane to talk about her 20th novel, "A Spool of Blue Thread."


Fine Brine From Appalachia: The Fancy Mountain Salt That Chefs Prize

An artisanal salt producer is processing brine from ancient ocean deposits below West Virgina's mountains. The company, J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works, ships to top chefs who value the salt's minerality.

Downed Russian Warplane Highlights Regional Divide On Syria

Hugh Pope, director of communications and outreach at the International Crisis Group in Brussels, explains the growing divide between Turkey and Russia on their priorities inside Syria.

From Takeout To Breakups: Apps Can Deliver Anything, For A Price

Convenience is at an all-time premium — and a lot of smartphone apps promise to make many of the things we do every day easier. In a time-crunch or sheer laziness, how far will the apps take us?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.