Washington (CNN) -- Getting a deal done on the government shutdown was ugly, divisive and controversial. And it has left a few people missing pork.
Days after Republicans kept their House majority in the 2012 election, Speaker John Boehner doubled down on a ban on earmarks -- those legislative nuggets that get embedded into bigger bills directing funds to specific pet projects.
These legislative provisions were generally the grease that made Congress go -- leadership in the House and Senate would add earmarks to bills as a way to win votes on a larger controversial proposal.
The "earmark ban shows the American people we are listening," Boehner said in 2012. "We are dead serious about ending business as usual in Washington."
But with that announcement, Boehner was tying one hand -- a hand that many of his predecessors had used before -- behind his back. He would have to pass legislation without the ability to woo members with money for their districts.
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"Trying to be a leader where you have no sticks and very few carrots is dang near impossible," Trent Lott, former Republican Senate Majority leader and House Minority Whip told CNN. "Members don't get anything from you and leaders don't give anything. They don't feel like you can reward them or punish them."
Lott, who is now a senior fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center, said Boehner's job during this recent shutdown and debt ceiling crisis would "absolutely" have been easier had he been able to use earmarks.
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"When I was the whip in the House in the 80s, I had a shop window hours when members could come in and say they had a problem and ask for help," Lott said. "Then when I came to do my whip job, the members" were more receptive to support him.
Lott, however, operated in a different Republican Party.
"Bringing home the bacon" back then was seen as a good thing, where today, many tea party and...