Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., reversed course and announced Monday he plans to back fellow Republicans’ call to ban the congressional earmark.
McConnell has been a defender of earmarks and has used them to steer billions of federal tax dollars to his state. But in a speech on the Senate floor, McConnell acknowledged that earmarks, which allow lawmakers to fund pet projects without public hearings, have become a symbol of waste and overspending for the public.
McConnell said he will backing the earmark moratorium will demonstrate the Republican Party’s commitment to cutting spending and reducing the nation’s staggering deficit.
“Banning earmarks is another small but important symbolic step we can take to show that we’re serious, another step on the way to serious and sustained cuts in spending and to the debt,” McConnell said.