November 18, 2010

McConnell agrees to GOP earmark ban

Political pressure forced Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to reverse course on Monday and now he intends to support a non-binding GOP ban on earmarks championed by Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Tom Coburn (R-OK).

Only time will tell how much strength this ban will really have. Because it is non-binding and only affects the GOP, quite a bit of wiggle room still exists. What would stop a Democrat -- assuming the Democrats don't adopt a similar ban -- from earmarking the money for their Republican colleague in exchange for that colleague's support elsewhere?

Rep. Dean Heller and Sen. John Ensign support the ban and Rep.-elect Joe Heck has declared his opposition to earmarks in the past. Sen. Harry Reid believes the ban would be harmful to Nevada.