Earmarks Flow Near Lawmakers’ Property

    WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 21:  U.S. The U.S. Capitol is seen as Republican and Democratic members of the "Super Committee", or Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, continue to meet on deficit reduction talks November 21, 2011 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Members of the committee have struggled to come up with a plan to cut at least $1.2 trillion of the federal deficit over the next ten years.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

    Win McNamee / Getty Images

    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.

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