Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., will back an earmark moratorium. His office just sent out the following statement:
“Unless people like me show the American people that we’re willing to follow through on small or even symbolic things, we risk losing them on our broader efforts to cut spending and rein in government. That’s why today I am announcing that I will join the Republican Leadership in the House in support of a moratorium on earmarks in the 112th Congress.”
The statement comes just a few minutes after a conference call by Sens. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Jim DeMint, R-S.C., decrying the use of earmarks as a waste of money and a facilitator for bad legislation (think of all the horse-trading that made Obamacare possible).
Coburn even suggested that earmarks are a violation at least of the spirit of the Constitution’s “General Welfare” clause, because they put the federal government in the position of using its power to promote parochial interests above national ones.