Free Markets, Free People

Guess who voted against the Senate ban on earmarks?

I assume none of these names will come as a particular surprise to anyone. 8 GOP Senators joined Democrats in voting down a ban on earmarks for the next two-years. They were:

Sens. Thad Cochran (Miss.), Susan Collins (Maine), James Inhofe (Okla.), Dick Lugar (Ind.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Richard Shelby (Ala.) voted against an amendment to food-safety legislation that would have enacted a two-year ban on the spending items. Retiring Sen. George Voinovich (Ohio) and defeated Sen. Bob Bennett (Utah) also voted against it.

Of the 8, only one – Dick Lugar – faces reelection in 2012.

As has been said by many, the ban on earmarks is mostly symbolic since the amount of funds earmarked each year are a veritable drop in the ocean compared to the rest of the federal budget. But the symbolism of members of the Senate foregoing a spending tradition dear to incumbents to emphasize that government in all areas must cut back on its spending would have been a powerful one indeed. Instead

Instead, the usual suspects decided that midnight drop-in earmarks unvoted upon or debated, are absolutely critical to the functioning of the federal government and funding projects in their state.

Of course, somewhere in the next few years, all 8 of them will “go on the record” about wasteful spending.  They’ll also claim we must cut spending in all areas of government.

But when given the opportunity to put their words into action – well, there are the results.



14 Responses to Guess who voted against the Senate ban on earmarks?

  • Murky is not a surprise.  She is the new Queen Of Pork.  Watch and see…

  • I will never buy the drop in the bucket or drop in the ocean argument. Drops add up. Whats the saying—a trip of a thousand miles begins with one step?

    • “Drops add up.”
      Correct – WalMart makes billions selling lots & lots of  little inexpensive things…the doesn’t matter argument is just an excuse to do nothing.

      • “Drops adding up”…….that’s essentially the Itunes model.  Lots of “microtransactions” over a year can equal one nasty credit card bill 

    • The dollar total of earmarks is the total FEDERAL BUDGET in the late 60’s.

  • I thought I saw yesterday the Orrin Hatch was expected to keep earmarks.
    I guess he doesn’t want to retire, like Bennett, just yet.

  • Well, let’s hope that the good people of Alaska get it right next time, and that the folks in Mississippi, Alabama, Maine, Oklahoma, and Indiana also make the right decision.

    But I’m not holding my breath.  As McQ says, as it gets closer to election time, these clowns will make big speeches about fiscal responsibility even while reminding voters about how much bacon they’ve brought back to their states.  Who knows?  Maybe we’ll even get a John McCain-esque moment where Cochrane or Inhofe or that twerp from Maine growl, “Pass the damned ban!”

  • Shutting down earmarks is critical to controlling the budget. Earmarks relate to the total budget the way a valve relates a plumbing system.  Turn that valve off and let gridlock take care of the rest.

  • Of course, I worked as a Senate staffer in the 1980s. It was for a Republican senator too, which insulates me the rest of my life from charges that I’m a leftist, by post-modern holy writ, so you guys really need to shut up about how leftist I am. I’m a pragmatic moderate. Like Obama, who thinks like me. I decree it.

    Anyway, I worked as a Senate staffer, and not just as a gofer who mostly fetched coffee, so stop saying that. It’s not even funny. As I was saying, I was in on all kinds of discussions, and senators can have good-faith disagreements about all kinds of things. It doesn’t mean they lack principles, or anything like that. I also don’t lack principles, though I can’t name any principles I believe in off the top of my head except the principle that people with advanced degrees should always be respected and agreed with.

    You can tell that this is a difficult issue which is capable of many points of view because the wonderful and moderate lady senators from Maine felt differently about it. And that’s certainly not because Snowe comes up for re-election in 2012 so she’s afraid of a primary challenge if she didn’t vote against earmarks while Collins doesn’t until 2014 when all of this will have died down. So stop saying that. They’re both very principled ladies and far above such petty political considerations. Stop laughing!

    They’re pragmatic moderates like me, and you dense righties ought not be trying to drum them out of the GOP. You’ll just hurt yourself if you do. You’ll try to replace them with extremist tea party types, and I keep telling you that the Tea Partiers are a small, extremist minority who hold very extreme positions, and don’t you dare bring up all the people they got elected last time, don’t you dare! It was just a fluke! My analysis showed that the GOP should have only picked up about twenty seats, and since my analysis is never wrong, something must have happened that was just totally unexpected and unprecedented, but it certainly wasn’t because any principles held by the tea partiers are popular! Absolutely not! Stop laughing, I said! I’ll have the post-modern, socially constructed multiple truth for why it all happened ready any day now! You just wait!

    Now you may be wondering after all this analysis if I am for earmarks or against them. And the answer is that it depends. It’s unfortunate that you dogmatic righties can’t hold such a balanced, moderate, pragmatic, nuanced opinion, isn’t it?

  • These assholes are flirting with total disaster. Don’t they have an clue that the tea partiers will not accept this shit anymore.  They will break off and form a third party. and the result will be that Republicans never get elected to anything again for a generation.

    Goddamn short sighted narcissistic bastards. They will destroy this nation by turning it over permanently to the looter party.

  • Priceless, Ott!!!  One of your best!

  • The only thing dumber than lifetime appointments for Supreme Court justices is no term limits on Congressmen!!!!
    Earmarks are nothing more than an underhanded method to buy votes. If a bill cannot stand on its own merit, it obviously should not be enacted. Legislation should be written in a short, concise manner covering ONLY one subject in each bill offered – enough of this political horse trading to ensure reelection.

  • (CNN) — Senate Republicans promised Wednesday to block legislative action on every issue being considered by the lame-duck Congress until the dispute over extending the Bush-era tax cuts is resolved and an extension of current government funding is approved.
    All 42 Senate Republicans signed a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, vowing to prevent a vote on “any legislative item until the Senate has acted to fund the government and we have prevented the tax increase that is currently awaiting all American taxpayers.”