Fewer Lawmakers Vowing to Eschew Earmarks

Posted February 2, 2009 at 4:42pm

After reaching a high-water mark of sorts last year, the ranks of lawmakers practicing earmark abstinence are shrinking. The conservative Club for Growth, which compiles a list of lawmakers eschewing earmarks, said last year it had 41 House Members and seven Senators; so far this year, just six Senators and 18 House Members have signed on. Club for Growth spokeswoman Nachama Soloveichik said that a number of lawmakers on last year’s list were defeated or retired, and others have not yet decided what to do. The only new Member on the list so far is freshman Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), although the club hopes the list will grow. No House Democrats are on the list. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.), however, both will keep their vows of abstinence for another year. Two Democratic Senators, Claire McCaskill (Mo.) and Russ Feingold (Wis.), are the only Democrats in Congress to sign on so far this year.