In a sure sign that earmarks remain as popular as ever, an overload of pork requests clogged the House Appropriations Committee’s Web site Wednesday, forcing an extension to the request deadline to next week.
The committee extended its deadline for earmark requests until 11:59 p.m. on March 24 after a “massive influx of requests” caused “unavoidable access and processing delays,” wrote Rob Nabors, staff director for the committee, in a memo to Member offices.
The committee had set March 19 as the deadline for submitting requests, and more than 90 percent of Members are expected to submit them despite calls for a moratorium from House Republican leaders, House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and the three remaining major presidential candidates, Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.).
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.