The Washington Post: Some Republican senators are expected to vote against earmarks that they loaded into bills that are expected to pass in spite of their nay votes.
Last month, Roger Wicker, Mississippi’s junior senator, joined some of his party’s leading fiscal hawks, including Sens. Jim DeMint (S.C.) and John McCain (Ariz.), in a revolt against earmarks. Republican senators agreed during a closed-door meeting to ban them, a symbolic and nonbinding effort that they hoped would send a signal that they are serious about curbing federal spending.
Yet Wicker, along with Thad Cochran, Missippi’s senior senator, had by then already sponsored earmarks in the spending bill that would fund an airport expansion in Tunica ($1.75 million), new riverwalk lights in Columbus ($300,000), improvements to a hiking and biking trail in Hattiesburg ($700,000) and improvements to an assortment of bridges, highways, trails, railways and streets across Mississippi.
Cochran and Wicker each have more earmarks in the bill than almost every other senator. Cochran sponsored 263 earmarks worth $522.2 million, while Wicker has 223 earmarks worth $415.4 million, according to an analysis by Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan watchdog group.
In total, the bill contains more than 6,700 earmarks valued at $8.1 billion. Read more…..