On Tuesday, Axios reported that Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has been privately urging his Republican colleagues in the Senate to support the return of earmarks — the legislative process that lets individual members of Congress set aside funding for projects in their own district or state.
One of his big selling points? Former President Donald Trump supports them — so they should, too.
"Graham told colleagues last week 'the top Republican in the country, meaning Trump, supports earmarks, and why shouldn't we?'" reported Jonathan Swan and Alayna Treene. "The South Carolinian invoked the former president and Republican leader-in-exile as the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee held a closed-door meeting to discuss the road ahead for government spending."
Trump did indeed endorse the return of earmarks in 2018.
Graham also argued that Republicans will be at a competitive disadvantage with voters if Democrats earmark funds for their constituents while Republicans do not, saying, "Democrats do it; if we don't do it, we're stupid . . . We shouldn't just be out of the game."
Leaders of both parties agreed to an earmark ban a decade ago, concerned that the practice was driving waste and corruption. However, many lawmakers have now changed their minds, arguing that earmarks encourage bipartisanship and help lawmakers serve their districts and states more effectively.