Earmarks Flow Near Lawmakers’ Property

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Having a congressman in your neighborhood may make property values go up. More than $300 million in taxpayer money has gone to projects within two miles of property owned by 33 members of Congress, according to a Washington Post investigation. In Tuscaloosa, Ala., $100 million went to projects near a senator’s offices. Nearly $500,000 went to a bike lane near a Michigan representative’s residence. The earmarks are legal under congressional ethics rules, and last week the Senate struck down a bill that would have outlawed earmarks. Lawmakers defended the earmarks by saying their constituents benefited from the projects.