Earmarks are only a small part of the deficit problem and the problem with them is more their abuse than their existence/use. Nonetheless, Senator McConnell’s abrupt about-face on an earmark ban is a signal about where some newly empowered leaders in Washington want to take things — and that’s a place where compromises on big picture items like education and No Child Left Behind seem pretty challenging.
Also, smart Alyson Klein piece on prospects for regulatory action on No Child Left Behind. One aspect she doesn’t get into, however, is the behind the scenes politics and perception. Insiders in Washington – of both parties – don’t see these NCLB problems the same way the groups seeking regulatory relief do. It’s a big gap and one reason for the inaction so far.