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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Senate Democrats May Be Forced To Go On Record Regarding Earmarks

Republicans have hashed it out and now stand united to give American voters what they want and the Senate Republican Conference will approve a two year ban on earmarks aka pork barrel projects for their members and a bipartisan proposal by Sens Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Tom Coburn, R-Oklam will be put forth to the whole Senate as an amendment to another bill which will force Senate Democrats to go on record voting to continue placing earmarks in bills or to vote against it.

McCaskill released a statement Monday applauding the dramatic reversal of Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, in support of a ban on pet projects. In that statement, McCaskill, a close ally of the White House who has never requested an earmark since she was elected to Congress in 2006, said, "I'm glad that Republican leadership is coming around to this idea; now it's my Democratic colleagues turn to get on board."

Coburn and McCaskill are not expected to get a vote on their amendment, which was filed late, but a senior Senate GOP aide said the two could request a roll call vote on their motion to take up the amendment. That, the aide said, would serve as an "on the record vote" on the ban.

Polling done on government spending has found the majority of Americans believe the government should not be spending as they currently do.

In an AP/GFK poll found that 50 percent found that the higher priority should be put on "Reducing the federal budget deficit by cutting spending, even if that means the government could not enact new programs on education, health care reform, and the development of alternative energy sources."

A series of surveys, taken Sept. 12-15, 2010, sponsored by Public Notice and conducted by the Tarrance Group and Hart Research found that a "vast majority" of likely voters were "outraged" over government spending while a majority told the pollsters that government spending would affect how they voted on November 2, 2010.

We all saw how that vote turned out, with the GOP seeing a 60 seat gain in the House to take control, a 6 seat gain in the Senate (only a third of the Senate was in play) and hundreds upon hundreds of seats taken on a state level.

Make no mistake, cutting out earmarks will not, in any way, solve our deficit problems or reduce spending to a point where we can sustain ourselves, but it is a start and more importantly, Congressional members that vote to ban earmarks until we have spending under control are showing that they heard the American public during the midterms and are willing to listen and act accordingly.

Those that do will continue to receive support from the public and those that do not are showing they didn't get the message in 2010 and we then can act accordingly in the 2012 elections.