Will unspent transportation earmarks go back to U.S. Treasury?

Hundreds of millions of dollars in unspent transportation earmarks would be returned to the federal treasury under a bill introduced July 14 by Rep. Betsy Markey, the Loveland Connection reports.

The report notes that the bill drew praise from two government waste watchdog groups, who cited it as an example of long-overdue reform.

“Long-term economic growth and recovery can’t happen unless we cut wasteful government spending and tackle our exploding deficit,” said Markey, D-Colo., in the report. “These old earmarks are a waste of taxpayer money and cutting them just makes sense.”

Unspent earmarks — specific directives from Congress on how an appropriation should be spent — in some cases date back to more than two decades and range in amounts from 2 cents to $26.8 million, according to the report.