McConnell will support earmark moratorium
Supporters of Sen. Jim DeMint’s proposal to impose an earmark moratorium on Senate Republicans (what he calls a test on whether or not the GOP got the message that voters sent two weeks ago) received welcome news yesterday as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) reversed course, deciding to back the plan:
I have seen a lot of elections in my life, but I have never seen an election like the one we had earlier this month. The 2010 midterm election was a “change” election the likes of which I have never seen, and the change that people want, above all, is right here in Washington.
Most Americans are deeply unhappy with their government, more so than at any other time in decades. And after the way lawmakers have done business up here over the last couple of years, it’s easy to see why. But it’s not enough to point out the faults of the party in power. Americans want change, not mere criticism. And that means that all of us in Washington need to get serious about changing the way we do business, even on things we have defended in the past, perhaps for good reason.
If the voters express themselves clearly and unequivocally on an issue, it’s not enough to persist in doing the opposite on the grounds that “that’s the way we’ve always done it.” That’s what elections are all about, after all. And if this election has shown us anything, it’s that Americans know the difference between talking about change, and actually delivering on it.
Bringing about real change is hard work. It requires elected officials — whether they’re in their first week or their 50th year in office — to challenge others and, above all, to challenge themselves to do things differently from time to time, to question, and then to actually shake up the status quo in pursuit of a goal or a vision that the voters have set for the good of our country.
Here is the video:
Sen. DeMint issued a statement shortly after McConnell’s remarks, praising his colleague for taking a stand on this issue:
Senator McConnell’s support for the earmark moratorium demonstrates the kind of bold leadership our party needs,” said Senator DeMint. “His statement today and tomorrow’s vote to enact the moratorium will send a clear signal to voters that Republicans heard the message of the last election. I am proud that House and Senate Republicans have united to end the earmark favor factory…I hope President Obama follows through with his rhetoric and promises to veto any bill with Democrat earmarks.
And warning has been sent out to Senate Republicans opposing the moratorium, such as Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and others, that they could face primary opposition in their next election:
Republican opponents of a moratorium on earmarks should expect a primary challenge, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said.
Coburn, one of the conservative proponents in the Senate of a ban on earmarking, the process of directing spending in legislation to a specific project, put on notice his GOP colleagues who don’t favor such a ban.
“You bet …. They sure should,” Coburn told The Weekly Standard’s John McCormack when asked whether Republicans who oppose the moratorium should expect a primary challenge.
Unfortunately, the vote, which will be held today, will be secret. So, voters may never know how their Senator went on the earmark moratorium.