During debate over legislation to extend federal highway funding, Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) accused House Republicans of bringing wasteful earmarks back from the dead.
“Usually when something is killed, it stays dead,” he said. “But just like a zombie movie some earmarks refuse to die and return to life as wasteful deficit spending.”
At the beginning of 112th Congress, House Republicans touted their fiscal discipline by voluntarily adopting a ban on earmarks.
However, Polis said that “zombie” earmarks kept appearing, despite their pledge. Polis noted that the Republican transportation bill would spend $30 million on a highway in Canada and $3.7 billion on a beltway around the city of Birmingham, Alabama.
Polis offered an amendment that would have eliminated the earmarks, but the Republican-led House voted 176-242 against it. The legislation, which also mandates construction the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, was later approved by a 293-127 vote.
“It’s bad enough that House Republicans are breaking the ban on earmarks, but to spend U.S. taxpayer money on a highway in Canada is ridiculous,” Polis said in a statement. “We’ve all heard of pork barrel spending but now Republicans are apparently serving up Canadian bacon. If they were serious about ending earmarks, House Republicans would have supported my effort to cut funding for the wasteful Canadian Bacon-way and the Alabama ‘Pork-way.’”
Watch video, uploaded to YouTube on April 18, below: