Democratic Congressman Lincoln Davis is satisfied with his party’s control of earmark spending.
Earlier this month, debate of the Defense appropriations bill was held up for over an hour as a group of Republicans questioned some of the 13-hundred extra spending items attached to the measure. Over and over, the House voted to keep the earmarks, with just over half the Republicans present—and Nashville Democrat Jim Cooper—voting to drop them.
Lincoln Davis repeatedly voted to keep the earmarks. He says many of the spending items added by members go to fund legitimate and necessary programs in their home districts. And he contends the current Democratic leadership is rejecting more earmark requests than their Republican predecessors did. But the Pall Mall Democrat admits some bad ones probably still made it through.
“I’m gonna find some 150-thousand dollar appropriation, someone will find, for studying the mating habits of the tunnel bug, but I mean-I’m sure there will be some small-but when you talk about the percentage of it, I don’t think you’ll find a lot.”
Davis says he’s mainly concerned with the possibility that some legislators may gain financially from the earmarks they introduce. He says he’d support legislation to disclose any such conflicts of interest. Language doing just that was stripped out of the ethics reform bills recently passed by the House and Senate.