"Congressional directed spending is essential for the system to work in these highly partisan times," one Democratic Insider said.
For many Democrats, however, the ban on earmarks seemed like a bad idea before and during the mess with the transportation bill.
"It is a silly ban that transfers power to the executive branch," a Democrat responded.
Or to put it another way: "It's the earmarks, stupid!"
But not all Democrats see this as a time to reconsider pork-barrel spending.
"[I'm] not sure if that's the real problem here," one Democratic Insider said.
On that one point, Republicans seem to agree. And for many Republicans maintaining the earmark ban is the best way to gain back the trust of the American people.
"Earmarks were a distraction, and we haven't regained the public's trust enough to show we can be trusted again," a Republican said.
One Republican went as far as to say that the earmark ban is succeeding in another way: "The ban on earmarks is achieving exactly what Americans want - less spending in Washington."
One member of the Republican Party was willing, however, to say there could be a time and a place for earmarks in the legislative process.
"Only with real reform," the Republican said. "Usefulness in earmarks is not coercing votes for bad bills, it is to retain legislative branch authority."
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