Skip to comments.DeMint, Coburn Upbeat On GOP Earmarks Moratorium
Posted on 11/16/2010 5:58:26 AM PST by Servant of the Cross
Senators Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Tom Coburn (R-OK) discussed Senate Republicans scheduled vote on a two-year earmarks moratorium during a Heritage Foundation press call this afternoon. The call took place just minutes before Republican Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell announced his support for the measure -- a significant about-face. The conservative Senators had expressed hopeful optimism that the secret ballot decision, which will take place on Tuesday, will adopt Sen. DeMints controversial proposal. They cited recent polling data that they argue clearly demonstrates voters opposition to a practice deemed to be wrong and wasteful.
McConnell, citing the will of voters, agreed: I am announcing that I will join the Republican Leadership in the House in support of a moratorium on earmarks in the 112th Congress, he said in a prepared statement. Banning earmarks is another small but important symbolic step we can take to show that were serious, another step on the way to serious and sustained cuts in spending and to the debt. Republican Leaders in the House and Senate are now united on this issue, united in hearing what the voters have been telling us for two years and acting on it.
Senate Republican leaderships reversal all but guarantees easy passage of the DeMint proposal, which has already been embraced by the House GOP. It also marks an early triumph of Tea Party activists and fiscal conservatives, who had demanded that Republicans take this large, albeit mostly symbolic, step to curb federal spending. DeMint has since applauded McConnells move, calling it an example of bold leadership.
During the conference call, DeMint explained why the ban is important. There are Congressmen and Senators who believe its their job to bring home federal bacon, he said, warning that if Republicans continue to endorse the process, voters would be justified in doubting whether the party truly believes in limited government. In a remark that would prove prescient, DeMint hinted, I dont think theres nearly the division in our conference that some have suggested.
The conservative duo dismissed arguments advanced in recent days by some fellow Republicans that earmarking is a relatively insignificant issue, and that the GOP shouldnt cede all the ground on specific directing of appropriations to Democrats and the White House. Earmarks are the cause of bigger problems, DeMint explained. They keep members' eyes off the ball of major reforms. [Rejecting] earmarks is a way for us to show that we've gotten the message, and that were committed to stop focusing on parochial and special interests. It's not our job to be directing money back to local projects that dont have national significance," he said. It now appears that GOP brass has adopted a similar stance.
Our country is facing the greatest difficulty of my lifetime, Coburn said. For us to defend a process that takes the focus off the important issues is an untenable position. It violates our oath, which says we must do what's in the best interests of the nation, not whats in the best interest of individual members political careers. He added that maintaining the status quo on earmarks would engender greater cynicism among the American people at a time when they need encouragement. A source in McConnells office agreed, saying that the GOP leaders announcement would help bring folks on our side together.
Prior to the McConnell development, DeMint predicted that his proposal would narrowly pass. Based on his own informal whip count, DeMint said he believed his faction would have the votes to adopt the moratorium. I think we have the edge by a vote or two, he said. After McConnells chess move, those calculations are now moot, as the conferences adoption of the moratorium is a fait accompli.
McConnells decision also sidestepped a number of potentially thorny issues brewing within his caucus. Senator-elect Mike Lee of Utah was pushing a public vote on the matter, and the DeMint/Coburn duo was preparing to force an open, Senate-wide vote on earmarks by attaching it to a food safety bill on Wednesday. The Partys official change of heart effectively neutralizes both possibilities. United Senate Republicans now plan to pressure Democratic colleagues to endorse their position; a choice that could prove complicated for a handful of Senators widely viewed to be vulnerable in 2012.
"Banning earmarks is another small but important symbolic step we can take to show that were serious ..." McConnell
"I dont think theres nearly the division in our conference that some have suggested." ... DeMint
Let's go fight the socialists now.
Well, one Oklahoma senator has it right.
What the heck happened to Inhofe?!?! I thought he was a reliable conservative.
WOOOHOOOO! Great news! Now representatives in our house, how about some transparency by having bills available for constituent review online a week before a final vote is taken?
Defund all collectives/countries. It’s 2010. Wake up. Let them stand/fail on their own.
MooCowski will have a caniption.
PERMANENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! G*DAMIIT PERMANENT!!!!!
AREN'T YOU F(*^%(^*(%*'s LISTENING EITHER????????????????????
I’m just chuckling at the thought of Lisa Murkowski groin kicking her way back to Washington only to be confronted by a total earmarks ban.
Would it make sense to send an email to Sen. McConnell
thanking him for changing his position on earmark bans?
It occurs to me that Demint and Coburn would make a great Pres/VP team in two years. If they win they should forgo tradition and have Coburn preside over the senate daily as a gatekeeper to all of this spending.
What are the Dems. going to do?
Keeping 0bama on a short leash would save trillions.
Never saw a person that was supposed to be a president, throw almost nightly parties in the WH, golf like he’s tiger woods, constantly takes very expensive ‘vacations’ with extravagant money spending wife, just to mention a few.
Bush was vilified for going to his ranch for vacations.
James Inhofe is a Hard-Core Conservative and proud member of the 'DeMint wing' of the U.S. Senate.
Great point. One more reason to have taken this moratorium stand on earmarks.
Sure. If they elect her just cut off all federal funding. She will be a laughingstock.
Fair enough. Thanks for the insight.
“IMHO, Sen. James Inhofe is just as reliable as Coburn (and probably even moreso)...”
You’re DARN RIGHT about that. Inhofe has been second to only God in my life since DeMint was in diapers. If Inhofe had a problem with getting rid of earmarks, he is DEFINITELY worth listening to. But being Inhofe, he made his point, but he knows what America wants NOW. He is AWESOME!!