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Heard on the Hill: Flake-ing Out on Earmarks

Rep. Jeff Flake was anti-earmark before being anti-earmark was cool.

While Members are jumping on the no-more-earmarks bandwagon, the Arizona Republican long has wanted to get rid of them. Since 2004, Flake has named an “Egregious Earmark of the Week” to protest what he says is a “gateway drug to spending addiction.” He picks an earmark and offers up a pun-ny quote to accompany it.

For example, take this earmark of $597,000 for the Montana Sheep Institute. Flake’s quote: “This earmark is baaaaa-ad.” Then there’s an earmark of $50,000 for a Homer, Pa., athletic facility. “Pork projects like this make voters want to scream, ‘D’oh!’” Flake said. Or $838,300 for a congestion-relief plan in Louisiana, leading Flake to quip: “This earmark snot a good idea.”

“Part of the reason that people are willing to get rid of earmarks is to get rid of these bad puns,” Flake jokes to HOH. Staff and family members have helped over the years. “I don’t want to claim credit for the bad ones — that’s them,” he jokes. “The good ones are mine.”

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