How earmarks mapped the human genome
From Jamelle Bouie's interview with Sean Kelly, co-author of "Cheese Factories on the Moon," a defense of earmarks:
Pete Domenici was looking for a way to preserve jobs for Department of Energy labs in New Mexico. He got a small earmark for this crazy idea to make a map of the human genome. That set into motion a series of events that ended in one of the biggest and potentially most important maps in the history of the world.
This is also worth thinking about:
In my view, Republicans should love earmarks. One of their prime complaints about federal legislation is that it has a "one size fits all" quality to it; they complain about the decision-making of "Washington bureaucrats." Earmarks are a way that members can adapt these programs to local needs and conditions; it's a way to overcome the one-size-fits-all syndrome. Earmarks are a way to put forward interests that might be otherwise ignored by Washington bureaucrats.
Kelly also offers a quick history lesson: "Don't forget: When the Republicans came in in 1995, they 'got rid' of earmarks. Within a year, earmarks began to make a comeback, and they continued to increase throughout [Republicans'] time in the majority."
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