Saturday, December 04, 2010

Senate Earmark Ban: GOP Hall of Shame

This is old news now, since it happened while I was on vacation, but it deserves a post all the same. On Tuesday, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) brought a ban on earmarks to the floor of the United States Senate; the proposal failed 39-56, with 8 Republicans voting against it (with the majority of Democrats) and 7 Democrats voting for it (with the majority of Republicans).

Republicans in the House have already pledged to ban earmarks, and the Senate GOP has adopted a "voluntary" ban on earmarks within the caucus, and yet, in spite of the tremendous public outcry over earmarks and the need for Republicans to finally "get it", eight GOP senators decided to thwart the will of the people, and voted with the liberals.

Here is the Senate Republicans Hall of Shame from this vote:

Bob Bennett (R-UT)
Lost re-election this year

 Dick Lugar (R-IN)
Up for re-election in 2012

 George Voinovich (R-OH)
Did not run for re-election

 Jim Inhofe (R-OK)
Up for re-election in 2014

Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Lost re-election in 2010 primary, presumed general election victor as write-in

 Richard Shelby (R-AL)
Won re-election this year

 Susan Collins (R-ME)
Up for re-election in 2014

Thad Cochran (R-MS)
Up for re-election in 2014

The following Democrats supported Coburn's earmark ban: Evan Bayh (D-IN), Russ Feingold (D-WI), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Bill Belson (D-FL), Mark Udall (D-CO) and Mark Warner (D-VA). Bayh did not run for re-election, and Feingold lost his re-election bid.

Senators Kit Bond (R-MO), Sam Brownback (R-KS), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) missed the vote.


  1. I'm mixed on this and I am very conservative. I've listened to Inhofe's reasoning, talked with his office extensively, and I believe his claim that if there are no earmarks, the money will still be there to be sent back to the Executive Branch for bureaucratic disbursement.

    He basically says that until earmarks for political donors are closed, and until the proper authorization and appropriations processes are made mandatory, we will funnel money to the hands of unelected Liberals (elected Liberals would be bad enough.)

    I believe there is some merit in that position. I read that Boehner is going to really shake-up appropriations, demand each earmark has it's own hearing, etc. Perhaps this will go a long way to fight what Inhofe complains of.

  2. I agree with you, Maggie. The process of earmarking obviously needs work, but it is ridiculous to put that money into the hands of unelected officials to decide how it should be spent. Jamison, it seems that your allegiance to Coburn might be clouding your thinking a bit on this one. Coburn's list of myths and realities wasn't really well thought out.


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