If you don’t ask, the chances of receiving a “yes” are zero.

Hundreds of congressional representatives have their request — earmarks — out in the open as those earmarks returned in February following a 10-year ban. 

A Fox News story took a long, hard look at the requests.

How about $1.75 million for improvements – to a Portland, Ore., Japanese garden? And there’s much more that doesn’t really fit into the primary community needs that include jobs and healthcare.

Earmarks – funding requests to improve a local community — have developed a dirty reputation in several instances in recent history. 

Ideally, earmarks improve lives, but they also have been linked to corruption.

From a Fox News story:

“Former Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., used earmarks to launder taxpayer money through a nonprofit, while former Rep. Duke Cunningham, R-Calif., accepted $2.4 million in bribes for earmarks and even lived on a yacht owned by a defense contractor, according to the conservative Heritage Foundation.”

Republicans and Democrats in Congress are seeking $6 billion in Community Funding Project money, according to Fox News, going with President Joe Biden’s $1.5 trillion fiscal year 2022 budget.

Other requests:

  • $436,100 for a “meditation and restorative yoga” program in New Jersey. 
  • $3.75 million to restore the Waukegan, Ill., Carnegie Museum. 
  • $2 million in funding for a new art collection at the Brooklyn Museum.
  • $2 million for a Pickleball and Fitness Circuit in Orange, Calif.
  • $250,000 for a performing arts center that, according to the website of Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., “should be more than a beautifully designed building.”

The Fox analysis covered 326 members of the House: 220 Democrats and 106 Republicans. 

Fox reported that this is the first time the total number and cost of their requests has been published.

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