>> But maybe all of you should start thinking about going back to a form of earmarks, because this system really lends itself to not getting along.>> President Trump has a prescription to help break the logjam on Capitol Hill. Resurrect the old system of political favors in congress, known as Earmarks.
I'm Andy Sullivan, in Washington where Trump is drawing the fire of Conservative groups for suggesting that congress should maybe give earmarks another try. These are the pet spending projects sometimes running to millions of dollars, that used to help grease the skids when it comes to deal making on Capitol Hill.
Funding for a Teapot Museum where bridge to nowhere and a lawmakers district could maybe get them to vote yes on a piece of legislation that they otherwise would have oppose. Trump is saying that maybe it's time to bring them back. Republican leaders banned earmarks back in 2011 after a series of corruption scandals and sensational stories about wasteful spending.
The Gravina Island Bridge project linking Alaska to an island with a grand total of 50 inhabitants became synonymous with out of control pork barrel spending. Conservatives saw them as a driver of government waste, though they never amounted to more than a fraction of the federal budget. Trump is not alone in thinking their time may have come again.
Some Democrats and Republicans say the ear mark ban has only made it easier for federal bureaucrats, not elected lawmakers, to control billions of dollars in spending. They also point out that Congress has had a harder time passing spending bills since then. If lawmakers can't bring home the bacon, they're less likely to vote yes.
That's why Trump is saying that maybe it's time to give earmarks another look. They could provide the grease to help get difficult legislation to his desk. Of course, supporters and critics are saying that this goes against his promise to drain the swamp in Washington. But with gridlock a seemingly permanent feature on Capitol Hill, maybe lawmakers are ready to bring them back as well.
>> Well, you should do it.