Pastor on earmarks in stimulus bill: There are the there arent


President Barack Obamas ban on earmarks in the $825 billion economic stimulus bill doesnt mean interest groups, lobbyists and lawmakers wont be able to funnel money to pet projects.

Theyre just working around it — and perhaps inadvertently making the process more secretive.

Democratic Rep. Ed Pastor of Arizona suggested its not entirely accurate to say there will be no earmarks in the measure. There are and there arent, Pastor said. A lot of it depends on what the formula looks like.

For instance, the House measure, which includes $358 billion for road, water and energy programs among others, gives priority to transportation projects in high-unemployment areas that could be begun and completed quickly and that state and metropolitan transportation authorities have included in their long-term plans.

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