Congressional Earmark Ban Changes Business on Capitol Hill

Kate Brannen

Defense News

July 2, 2012

While the U.S. congressional ear­mark ban has not eliminated ear­marks, it has changed the way busi­ness is done on Capitol Hill, moving it into the shadows and making it dif­ficult for watchdog groups and lob­byists to figure out what’s going on.

“I don’t think people realize how much the earmark ban has changed the way things operate on Capitol Hill,” said Michael Herson, president of American Defense International (ADI), a Washington defense lobbying firm.

It has increased the power of the committee chairs, made it more dif­ficult for small- and medium-sized businesses to have their needs ad­dressed, and changed the way re­search and development projects are decided, industry and congressional sources said.

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