Vote looms for earmarks ban

Sponsors are trying to build on the increasing momentum against earmarks, sparked by the Tea Party and a climate that reviles spending and the large budget deficit.

The Senate will next week vote on a binding, three-year earmark moratorium, but in order to offer the ban the Senate must first vote to suspend its rules, which will require 67 votes to pass -- a difficult hurdle to clear.

The ban is sponsored by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., who are seeking to attach it to food safety legislation the Senate is currently considering.

Under an agreement between Senate leaders, the Senate is set to vote on cloture for the food safety bill Monday evening. If the Senate votes to limit debate, there will be up to four hours of debate on the earmark ban and a dueling food safety proposal offered by Coburn. That will be preceded by up to one hour of debate on competing amendments to repeal the healthcare reform law's 1099 tax reporting requirement for business purchases of more than $600 a year.

After the debate, the Senate will vote on the four proposals. If any motions to suspend the rules are successful, such as the earmark ban, the Senate would move to vote on those proposals. The Senate would then vote on final passage of the food safety bill.

Coburn and McCaskill are trying to build on the increasing momentum against earmarks, sparked by the Tea Party and a political climate that reviles Washington spending and the large budget deficit.

Possible action on the ban comes after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., a long-time supporter of earmarks, last week reversed his position and supported a GOP caucus-wide voluntary two year ban.

McConnell's move also came as House Republicans voted to extend their current earmark caucus-wide moratorium through the next Congress.

While earmarks account for only about one percent of spending, Republicans, and some Democrats, have argued that banning earmarks would help send a signal that Congress is serious about reducing spending and cutting the deficit.

"The greatest national security threat facing our nation today is our national debt and a Congress that refuses to acknowledge the depth of our challenges," Coburn said last week. "Earmarks are not only wasteful but are terrible distraction for both parties. The sooner we get rid of earmarks the sooner we can go to work on the difficult task of getting our budget under control,"

McCaskill has been leading the charge against earmarks on the Democratic side and she believes more members on her side if the aisle will eventually come around to oppose the practice.

"It's encouraging to see so many new faces join this effort over the last few days and I am excited to work with them in finally ending the flawed practice of earmarks," McCaskill said. "The truth is that earmarks are simply not a good way to spend tax dollars - I believe that funding should always be based on merit, not politics."

But while there has been growing opposition to earmarks, there is also staunch support, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., and Sen.-elect Roy Blunt, R-Mo.

The Senate in March voted 68 to 29 to kill an earmark ban for 2010 and 2011 proposed by Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C. Of the 29 who backed the proposal only four were Democrats. Fifteen Republicans voted to kill the ban, but some of those members have come in favor of a ban.

Backers of the ban said the 67 vote threshold may effectively kill it.

"Fifty is possible but 67 is difficult," Coburn spokesman John Hart. "Reid doesn't want to end earmarks."

Dan Friedman contributed to this report.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.