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Harry Reid: Obama is 'wrong' on earmarks

Congress has mostly eliminated the practice of earmarked funding in response to public outcry and Obama saying he would actively work to prevent them from entering legislation.
By Aileen Graef   |   May 6, 2014 at 4:53 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, May 6 (UPI) -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., emphatically maintained his stance on earmarks in a press conference Tuesday, saying President Barack Obama was wrong to oppose them.

"I have been a fan of earmarks since I got here the first day," Reid said. "I disagree -- underline, underscored, big exclamation mark -- with Obama. He's wrong."

Reid mentioned that earmarks have been a part of the legislative process for years before the recent lull. Opponents of earmarks claim that it is too difficult to tell who is responsible for crafting them and if they are actually crafted to benefit constituents. Reid said that issue can be addressed but the power should be given back to the lawmakers.

"But it is wrong to have bureaucrats downtown ... make decisions in Nevada that I can make better than they can," Reid said. "This is something that has been going on for centuries in our country, and it has worked quite well."

Reid does not only face opposition from his Republican colleagues -- House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has already said he opposes them -- but also from his own party. Rising political star Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., told HuffPost Live on Monday that she is siding with the president on this issue.

"I don't think so," she said on whether earmarks would help. "I think what the Senate needs to function is to remember who sent people there."

Follow @AileenGraef and @UPI on Twitter.
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