U.S. Rep. Paul Hodes of New Hampshire and two House colleagues want to make sure lawmakers don’t get contributions in return for federal earmarks, the footnotes members of Congress often use to quietly send millions each year to special projects.
He wants to make it illegal for federal lawmakers to take contributions from any entity for which they seek earmarks during the two years before a re-election vote. Lawmakers use earmarks to send money to specific organizations, businesses or projects in their home state or district.
Hodes and fellow Democrats Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona and Thomas Perriello of Virginia introduced legislation today to prevent lawmakers from accepting contributions from beneficiaries of earmarks, their senior executives or lobbyists.
Hodes says he believes the bill would help restore trust in Congress by showing people Congress is spending money wisely and for the right reasons.
He said he already refuses campaign contributions from companies, their executives and family members for which he has requested earmarks.