Federal pork - meat or poison?
WASHINGTON - On Capitol Hill, Mark Mallory is just another lobbyist asking for money.
The Cincinnati mayor doesn't mind. He has a list of projects he says would pass muster with any critic: money for riverfront development, an environmental assessment of the Cincinnati streetcar proposal and a runway expansion at Lunken Airport.
"All of the projects that we have on our list are public-improvement projects," Mallory said, standing in a crowded House office building between meetings last month with local lawmakers.
"We only ask for what we need," he said.
But the city's needs - and others - could go unfulfilled this year.
Congress is considering a one-year moratorium on all earmarks, money requested by lawmakers for local projects.
Several votes have already occurred on the proposal, including one Wednesday. None has passed, but the hot-button issue - especially in an election year - is far from dead.
"By refusing to join House Republicans in a full earmark freeze, the majority has proven once again that it is just not serious about reforming the way Washington spends taxpayer dollars," Republican House leader John Boehner said Wednesday.
Cincinnati's congressional delegation is split over the issue, which could have huge local consequences
Read Malia Rulon's story here