Republican Leaders Disagree On Imposing Earmark Ban


Republican leaders disagree on imposing earmark banSenate lawmakers are set to decide whether to change internal GOP rules and bar Republicans from seeking earmarks. Caucus members will vote on the issue on Nov. 16.

Tea Party-backed Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), who believes that earmarks symbolize out-of-control government spending, is waging a battle against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who supports them. Tea Party supporters are strongly opposed to the legislative practice that directs funds to specific projects.

"Americans want Congress to shut down the earmark favor factory, and next week I believe House and Senate Republicans will unite to stop pork barrel spending," said DeMint, quoted by The Associated Press.

If the GOP Senate caucus votes to eliminate earmarks, the ban would apply only to Republican Senators because the Democrats retained control of the chamber in the midterm elections. Earlier this year, DeMint won backing from 25 Republicans, including McConnell, in a vote to impose an earmark ban on all senators. The bill was defeated by most Democrats and 14 Republicans.

Senator-elect Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who was outspoken against the use of earmarks during his campaign, is a co-sponsor of DeMint's proposal. During a recent interview with CNN, the Tea Party favorite rebuked a Wall Street Journal article that quoted Paul as saying he would support earmarks.

"I never, ever said I would earmark and I will not use the earmark," Paul stressed.

Personal Liberty

Special To Personal Liberty

You Sound Off! is written by our readers and appears the last Wednesday of each month. If you would like to submit an article or letter to the editor for consideration for You Sound Off!, send it to by the Friday before the last Wednesday of the month. To be considered, a submission should be 750 words or less and must include the writer's name, address and a telephone number. Only the writer's name will be published. Anonymous submissions will not be considered.

Join the Discussion

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.