Inside the Senate GOP’s private debate about earmarks

Graham told colleagues last week “the top Republican in the country, meaning Trump, supports earmarks, and why shouldn’t we?”

The South Carolinian invoked the former president and Republican leader-in-exile as the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee held a closed-door meeting to discuss the road ahead for government spending…

In a telephone interview with Axios on Monday evening, Graham confirmed he’d made a forceful case to his colleagues.

“Democrats do it; if we don’t do it, we’re stupid,” Graham said he argued.

He said Democrats will gain political advantage if they can direct money to competitive states while their counterparts don’t. “We shouldn’t just be out of the game.”