Congress brings back earmarks for first time in over a decade

Congress has brought back earmarks for the first time in more than a decade.

Congressional Democrats put earmarks throughout their $1.5 trillion spending bill that passed the House hours after being introduced Wednesday, Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., told "Just the News - Not Noise."

Braun, a member of the Senate Budget Committee, on Thursday proposed an amendment that would cut $8 billion in earmarks out of the omnibus bill. His amendment failed 64-35. Congress puts money aside for local projects.

This is the first time Congress has had earmarks since 2011, the Indiana Republican told Just the News Editor-in-Chief John Solomon and co-host Amanda Head earlier that evening.

Braun stressed that the "even worse news" is that Congress still needs to pass $3 trillion for Medicare and Social Security. 

He describes the $1.5 trillion spending bill as "2700 pages full of pork."

"You think after all this money we spent, all of which we borrowed, that you would not need earmarks," he said. Debt in the United States has increased quickly during the COVID-19 pandemic and currently sits at more than $30 trillion.

Even as an appropriator through the Budget Committee, Braun did not know what was in the omnibus bill. He said appropriators were not brought in to "have some say in... record levels of spending." 

"None of that work was done," the senator said.

Braun told "Just the News - Not Noise" later in the interview that inflation "should be very concerning" to every American.