Senate Republicans threw down the earmark gauntlet Tuesday by adopting a resolution calling on Democrats to adopt a voluntary ban moments after they adopted an identical ban of their own.
The challenge, authored by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), calls for Democrats to swear off requests for “a congressionally directed spending item, limited tax benefit or limited tariff benefit” during the 112th Congress.
Adopted by voice vote by the Republican Conference, the challenge came shortly after GOP Senators agreed to an identical ban proposed by Sen. Jim DeMint (S.C.). Although Sen. James Inhofe (Okla.) objected to the ban — and expressed his strong opposition to it during the GOP’s closed-door meeting — he did not block a voice vote on the measure.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has repeatedly dismissed demands for a moratorium on earmarks over the last several days.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.