Senate to weigh earmark ban
November 29th, 2010
02:10 PM ET
12 years ago

Senate to weigh earmark ban

Washington (CNN) - With pressure mounting back home to curb government spending and cut deficits, the Senate will vote Monday night on a measure aimed at banning all legislative earmarks for the next two years, but multiple aides on both sides of the aisle say it's not expected to clear a 67-vote threshold required to pass.

If approved, the two-year Senate moratorium would bar any legislation that includes a provision "included primarily at the request of a Senator or Member of the House of Representatives…targeted to a specific State, locality or Congressional district, other than through a statutory or administrative formula-driven or competitive award process," according to a copy of the amendment which is sponsored by Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma.

Supporters of the ban say many earmarks waste taxpayer dollars, and they hope Monday's vote helps build momentum for the ban even if they can't pass it right now.

"The purpose (of the vote) is to put people on the record and see where we are at," said an aide to a Democratic senator who supports the ban. "This won't be the last time we do this."

Earlier this month, Senate Republicans voted nearly unanimously to forgo earmarks, but that ban is voluntary while the McCaskill/Coburn amendment would be enforceable. In the meantime, Democrats only have a handful of senators who are on-the-record supporting the ban.

In the House, Republicans recently voted to renew their voluntary prohibition on earmarks. Democrats have a more limited ban on earmarks, barring them to for-profit companies.

The vote Monday is procedural and not directly on the ban. It will be offered on an unrelated food safety bill that is expected to clear the Senate as early as Monday night.

Filed under: earmarks • Senate
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. John Boehner is the dumbest person to become speaker

    McConnell is the king of earmarks. Ir will be interesting to see how he and Kyl vote.

    November 29, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  2. glib lib

    Why do they need 67 votes? I thought they only needed a majority to pass and 3/5ths to cancel a filibuster or 2/3rds to overturn a Presidential veto. I'm pretty sure the President wouldn't veto a bill like this so why do they need a 2/3rds majority? Is someone planning to filibuster this bill? Sounds to me like someone doesn't have their facts straight. Imagine that, CNN not getting their facts straight.

    November 29, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  3. Michael

    Earmark ban? Not going to happen in any substantial or effective way. Politicians, Repiublicans and Democrats alike like thier pork. They cannot survive without it...or so they think.

    November 29, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  4. T'sah from Virginia

    Are they "getting rid of" all current EARMARKS – Or – Are they just NOT signing on any MORE EARMARKS??? Sounds to me like FUTURE EARMARKS!! What was the RepubliCAN’T outcry all about during their 2010 campaign??? END ALL EARMARKS and then you had Bachmann trying to REDEFINE earmarks!!! What a SPIN!!!

    Okay, so this is a “so-called” start – Let’s just see how long it takes for Phase II??

    America must move forward and the politicians need to STOP SPINNING!!! President Obama is our current leader and is willing to LISTEN!

    November 29, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  5. Jim from Va

    I think we need an up or down vote on earmarks so that we know who stands in the way of fiscal responsibility.

    November 29, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  6. Take America Back from the Libs

    As one reads another "unbiased" (sic) sample of CNN reporting, one will be lead to believe that only the mean ole republicans are opposed to ear marks.....howere, the TRUTH speaks otherwise;
    1. The Democrats still control both bodies
    2. The Democrats are actually the ones who are opposed to banishing earmarks (in other words, they want to keep them)
    3. There are less than 10 Democrats who are saying they oppose earmarks (the ones who are in conservative districts)
    4. ALL Republicans are on record to ban all earmarks
    5. The Democrats do have a "ban" on earmarks for everything other than "not for profit"; one must have a Tax Ecempted status in order to qualify for an earmark under the Democratic rule. Buth the "hidden truth" is less than 1/10th of 1 percent ever go to a "for profit" group.....everyone knows all earmarks will be funded through some type of "non-profit"! What a farce!

    November 29, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  7. diridi

    Also, pass Senate and Congress term that these old junk is wiped out....and trash this old junk to garbage can...

    November 29, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  8. Nancy Pelosi, the wicked witch of the west, the DemocRAT gift that just keeps on giving

    The DemocRATS just don't get it. The American people don't want or need anymore pork at the expense of our children or grand children. We DEMAND you end this insanity and end it now!

    November 29, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  9. king

    why these repugs dont stop messing with the american people minds, the american people send you to reduce the deficit you guys messing with a program that dont even make up a percent of the budget. when you guys are going to start taking the american people serious and stop thinking every american are stupid, do your job and stop stalling. you need to get on the big corporations and start pressuring them to take the american people demand money off the side line and start investing it back into the economy to get the people their jobs, i know you guys will go bunkers if the government step in and take their 700 billion in tax cut money, and hire 6 to 7 million folks modernize our infrastructure and transportations and lower the unemployment rate to 6 or 7 percent, but i know you guys will fight tooth and nales on this one screaming socialism because you guys figure obama will get the credit, and your number one policy is to make obama a one term president no matter how much the people have to suffer for the next two years.

    November 29, 2010 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    Watch how many GOPers refuse to get on board despite their rhetoric about spending. Of course, this being nothing more than sybolic wang waving, who really cares. This represents 0.5% of the budget. If voluntary bans that are non-enforceable and non-binding or even an enacted moratorium gives conservatives a fluffy, then so be it. They can blabber all they want about this being some sort of tangible achievement with repsect to the budget concerns...but it's really not. Ah well, they live in a fantasy land anyway.

    November 29, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  11. Drew

    If we end the Bush tax cut for the next 10 years we will slash a few Trillions..
    It's time for the Rich to show that they really care about the US.

    November 29, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  12. Nancy Pelosi, the wicked witch of the west, the DemocRAT gift that just keeps on giving

    It is funny to see all the libtards in here pooh-pooh this as insignificant and blathering that it is a small percentage of the budget. Even at that small percentage it is BILLIONS OF DOLLARS wasted and even worse, BORROWED MONEY that our children and grand children will have to pay back with interest.

    "A billion dollars and a billion dollars there and pretty soon you're talking about real money..."

    November 29, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  13. j

    Definition – Earmark (er`marc)- Money designated for something unbeneficial to my voters or my party.

    November 29, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  14. Rick McDaniel

    I won't believe it, until I see it. You can't trust anyone in the US government.

    November 29, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  15. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    When are you people going to realize that the GOP's takeover of the House doesn't and won't require them to do anything more than to satisfy the rich and what you think you were voting for has no voice or money to go with it.

    November 29, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  16. Nancy Pelosi, the wicked witch of the west, the DemocRAT gift that just keeps on giving

    Instead can we ban lazy liberals from living off of government entitlements for most of their life? Now THAT would save the country TRILLIONS! GET A JOB, SAVE YOUR COUNTRY!!

    November 29, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  17. sammieb51

    Wow, wonder if this will include John Kyl's bill to provide $200,000,000 to and Indian reservation to upgrade water treatment facility to INCLUDE A SNOW MAKING MACHINE!!

    November 29, 2010 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  18. resolaru

    Take America back from the Libs,

    you need to do a little more research on earmarks because you have absolutely no clue what you are talking about. zero, zilch, nada


    November 29, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  19. Ben in Texas

    The effect of banning earmarks is negligible. I don't mind if they ban them, but if the Repugnants really want to get the deficit down (which they don't), they would scream to get rid of welfare for the rich, in the form of the mini-Bush tax cuts. That would cut the deficit by trillions over the next few years.

    Actually, they should let all the tax cuts expire, and we'd be back in the black within 5 years, according to many economists. If we brought all our troops home NOW, we could drop the deficits even faster.

    Why won't Repugnants do anything significant to lower the deficit? It looks like they're setting up to bring the government to a halt, which will cause what's left of our economy from the disaster of the Bush years to crater.

    November 29, 2010 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |