Greg Cohen, President and CEO of the American Highway Users Alliance, says it is possible to curb earmarks:
"The prospect of an earmark-free bill could be exciting for transportation stakeholders in that passage of the bill would have to depend on the strength of the bill's policies, rather than the goodies in it for individual districts."
Phineas Baxandall, a Senior Analyst with U.S. PIRG, says that Cong. Jim Oberstar put new controls into effect that could make a difference this time around:
"Under Oberstar's watch, the Committee established rules requiring that earmarked projects have the support of local public officials, a plan for how to fully fund the project, information about the project's benefits, and proof that the member of Congress submitting the request will not benefit financially from the project."
The discussion continues over at the National Journal.