DefenseNews notes “U.S. House Panel Creates Fund to Finance Projects“.
What were formerly earmarks are now defense enhancements that almost any House member can take advantage of to keep the folks happy back home, to buy votes and to reward supporters.
At least a billion dollars has been put into this fund. Hey, isn’t that about the amount of the banned earmarks?!
The ‘Mission Force Enhancement Transfer Fund’ was created by the House Armed Services Committee on May 11th 2011, whose leadership is under a strict no-earmarks ban mandated by House Republican leadership. The ban forbids members from directing money toward specific projects in their districts. However, under the ban, House members may put forward district-neutral policy proposals but they have to identify offsets within the budget for each of these spending increases.
You wanted Congress to change the way it does business and it has. It banned earmarks and then renamed earmarks as defense enhancements. Who can hate defense enhancements?