Representative Anthony Weiner’s call to get rid of earmarks may work out well for him in next year’s mayoral race, but it isn’t gaining much traction with his colleagues in Congress.
After Weiner proposed the idea in a television interview, I spoke with Greg Meeks of Queens.
“Well, I’m not for getting rid of earmarks; I believe in transparency,” Meeks said. “But I think what some people are calling earmarks is [money] critical to some important projects in the district. And nobody knows my district better than I.”
It would be “almost impossible” to fund “vital” projects if the district were dependent on the president or a federal agency to decide where money should go, Meeks said.
“If you look at trying to rebuild downtown Jamaica, that’s where you’ll find earmarks,” he said. “We had flooding, for example, in Springfield Gardens, and it was an earmark that helped the city repair some of the sewer system problems.”
If there were no such things as earmarks, Meeks thinks his district would be “substantially” affected.