Former Rep. Chris Shays and the phantom earmarks

Former Rep. Chris Shays (R-Conn.) has his hands all over the omnibus spending bill -- despite having left Congress in January.

Shays lost his reelection bid to now-Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) last November, but the spending package was written last fall, while Shays was still around. Because Congress is now considering the bill, Shays may finally get his long-delayed earmarks.

Shays secured $2.85 million in an earmark for an "intermodal" transportation center in Bridgeport, Conn., the Connecticut Post reported. In essence, the money will add additional parking for several other transit hubs in the downtown area of the city.

Shays managed to secure a total of $24.8 million in earmarks during the "twilight of his career," as the Post put it.

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