Washington (CNN) - Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, one of the chief, old-bull defenders of earmarks, bowed to growing pressure from the public and his fellow GOP senators, and announced Monday he would support a ban on earmarks by Republican lawmakers in the new Congress.
"I have come down to this spot and said the Democrats are ignoring the wishes of the American people," McConnell said in a surprise announcement on the Senate floor. "When it comes to earmarks, I won't be guilty of the same thing."
(CNN) - Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a longtime defender of congressional earmarks, said Monday he will back a ban on the controversial spending items when congressional Republicans meet on Tuesday.
(CNN) - Democrats and Republicans are calling for a different kind of Washington when the new members of Congress assume their posts January. For both parties that includes reduced spending and a ban on earmarks.
"Given the deficits that have mounted up over the past decade, we can't afford to make these investments unless we're also willing to cut what we don't need," President Obama said in his weekly address Saturday.
(CNN) - Republican House leaders are calling for a vote on an earmark ban next week when Congress returns for a lame duck session.
In a statement, House Republican leader Rep. John Boehner and Republican House whip Rep. Eric Cantor said the GOP conference will hold a vote and call on the Democratic leadership to do the same.
Washington (CNN) - Sen. Jim DeMint, R-South Carolina, said Tuesday that he and several newly elected Tea Party-backed Republican senators will try to force GOP senators to give up earmarks altogether. The move is a direct challenge to Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and other senior GOP senators who support earmarking funds for home state projects.
A vote on the proposal is expected next Tuesday when the Senate Republican Conference meets in the Capitol to formally elect its leaders and adopt GOP rules for the upcoming session of Congress.
Washington (CNN) – Newly-minted Kentucky Republican Senator-elect Rand Paul is fighting a Wall Street Journal article that he says misquoted him as supporting the use of earmarks.
"I never, ever said I would earmark and I will not use the earmark," Paul said in an interview with CNN lead political anchor Wolf Blitzer on the Situation Room. "No matter what the Republican Caucus says or what anybody does, I will not put earmarks on bill."