Ms. BWR was the key to convincing me to hold my nose and vote Trump on the sole ground of control of the Supreme Court, so I’ve got the bar set quite low for this administration. That said, I like their first few steps so far.
Two of the most corrupt influences on politics over our lifetimes have been Congressional earmarks and the regulator/lobbyist revolving door. As to earmarks, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan demonstrated some real leadership yesterday by shutting down an attempt by three Republican members of the House to reintroduce ear mark authority for Congress:
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., unilaterally halted a bid Wednesday to restore earmarks, those directives that steer federal funds to specific projects back home.
Sources told Fox News that plans to restore some earmarks were on the verge of being approved by House Republicans in their closed-door conference meeting when Ryan intervened.
“We just had the ‘drain the swamp’ election,” Ryan said, according to a senior House GOP source. “We don’t want to turn around two weeks later and have earmarks.” . . .
Amen. I understand the Congressmens’ desire to restore ear mark authority on the grounds that unelected federal bureaucrats are, in the absence of Congressional specification, directing the spending for specific projects at the state level. But does anyone really want to support reintroduction of ear mark authority to Congress? That is the equivalent of employing Mel Gibson as a bartender, naming Anthony Weiner as CEO of Twitter, or putting Robert Downey, Jr. in charge of the DEA evidence lock-up. At least the federal bureaucrats are limited in the money they can direct up to the amounts voted by Congress. If the House GOP needs to address this, they need to do so by limiting the authority of the bureaucrats to earmark the funds, not returning ear mark authority to Congress.
As to lobbyists, VP Elect Mike Pence banned them from the “transition team” once he took over as head from Chris Christie. Now this today from Fox: