Missouri Lawmakers Disturbed by Racial Inequity in Remarks

WASHINGTON - White lawmakers in Congress are more successful than their black and Hispanic colleagues when it comes to steering money to pet projects in their districts.

The disparity has led two Missouri congressmen to demand more fairness in the practice of doling out the federal money, known as "earmarks."

A recent study found the average white Democrat gets about twice as much money in earmarks as black or Hispanic Democrats.

St. Louis Democratic Congressman William Lacy Clay says one remedy is adding more black lawmakers to the House committee that oversees federal spending requests.

Kansas City Democrat Emmanuel Cleaver says the current system favors the most powerful members of the House.  He says black lawmakers usually represent urban districts that need more federal money.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)