Sen. Jim DeMint predicted Sunday that Senate Republicans will adopt his nonbinding GOP Conference ban on earmarks this week.
“I think we’ll win the vote, because I think most of the Republicans in the Senate have gotten the very clear message from the American people that we need to stop wasteful spending,” the South Carolina Republican said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Both the Senate and House will begin a lame-duck session this week, and the Senate GOP Conference is expected to vote during a closed-door meeting Tuesday on DeMint’s resolution that would create a two-year moratorium.
House Republicans are expected to extend their existing earmark ban into the 112th Congress.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has pushed back against DeMint’s effort in the past week, saying an earmark would not yield substantial savings.
“Mitch is a good friend. On this issue we disagree,” DeMint said to host Chris Wallace. “You would see spending come down dramatically if you took out all the self-interest that earmarks represent. So I’ve seen for years, Chris, that you put a little bit of bacon in for all the Congressmen and Senators, they’ll vote for a big bill they would otherwise not vote for. So it is a problem with spending.”
White House senior adviser David Axelrod said on the show that Republicans will support empowering the president with a line-item veto as part of their effort against earmarks.
“One of the problems is that these things come embedded in bills that have to be signed, and that’s one of the reasons why the president has asked for constitutional authority [for] the line-item veto,” he said. “And I hope while the Republicans are talking about reforming earmarks, they’ll also give the president this authority so he could excise those things and ... larger bills aren’t held hostage to earmarks.”
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.