Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Does McConnell actually get it, or did he just give in?

From The Hill:
GOP Senate leader McConnell backs down, agrees to earmark ban
By J. Taylor Rushing - 11/15/10 08:41 PM ET
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) announced Monday that he would join a GOP effort to ban congressional earmarks, a stunning turnaround that reflects a huge victory for the Tea Party movement.

A senior member of the Appropriations Committee, McConnell has been one of the Senate’s strongest proponents of local pork, but watched the practice fall into disfavor amid growing public anger over Washington spending that fueled GOP victories in this month’s midterm election.

“There is simply no doubt that the abuse of this practice has caused Americans to view it as a symbol of the waste and out-of-control spending that every Republican in Washington is determined to fight,” McConnell said Monday in a speech on the Senate floor.

“And unless people like me show the American people that we’re willing to follow through on small or even symbolic things, we risk losing them on our broader efforts to cut spending and rein in government,” he said.

McConnell’s decision puts another nail in the coffin for earmarks, which for years have been tucked into appropriations bills by members of both parties to benefit projects in their states and districts. Earmarks have been a lucrative business on K Street, where lobbyists seek to work with members to insert favored projects in spending vehicles.

Now those halcyon days appear to be a thing of the past.
Read it all here.

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