Persuasion without pork in debt showdown

AP News
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Posted: Jul 28, 2011 9:46 PM
Persuasion without pork in debt showdown

House leaders have one less tool available to persuade members to vote for a Republican plan to raise the debt ceiling. They can no longer offer money for pet projects, known as "earmarks."

One Republican is delighted. Republican Rep. Jeff Flake of Arizona used to regularly criticize the tactic that both parties had used for years.

Emerging from a leadership office where wavering members received a pep talk and pizza, Flake said the disappearance of pet projects "has to be the most refreshing thing in the world." He says that kind of negotiation would have cost about $20 billion a couple of years ago.

Now, he says, "a couple of pizzas and you're there."