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Fiscal conservatives have long understood the danger of earmark spending. Rep. Jeff Flake, who spent years fighting for an earmark ban in the House of Representatives, called earmarks the “gateway drug” to out-of-control spending because of the way that lawmakers can be enticed to vote for a controversial bill by offering them earmarks for pork-barrel project in their home state. Led by Flake, conservatives succeeded in forcing leadership to impose an earmark ban after Republicans re-took the House in 2010.
A number of fiscally conservative senators have been fighting against pork-barrel spending in the Senate as well, and yesterday, February 2nd, Sen. Pat Toomey (PA) introduced an amendment to change the Senate’s rules to ban earmarks. FreedomWorks placed a Key Vote notice on this legislation.
Unfortunately, the amendment failed, 40-59. Sen. Toomey even managed to get seven Democrats to vote for his amendment, but thirteen Republican big-spenders voted against the amendment along with 46 Democrats, absolutely ensuring the bill’s failure. See how they voted here.
The thirteen Republicans who voted to defend their ability to fund pork-barrel projects are:
Alexander (TN) – (202) 224-4944, @SenAlexander
Blunt (MO) – (202) 224-5721, @RoyBlunt
Cochran (MS) – (202) 224-5054
Collins (ME) – (202) 224-2523, @SenatorCollins
Hoeven (ND) – (202) 224-2551, @SenJohnHoeven
Hutchison (TX) – (202) 224-5922, @kaybaileyhutch
Inhofe (OK) – (202) 224-4721, @InhofePress
Lugar (IN) – (202) 224-4814, @senatorlugar
Murkowski (AK) – (202) 224-6665, @lisamurkowski
Roberts (KS) – (202) 224-4774, @SenPatRoberts
Sessions (AL) – (202) 224-4124, @SenatorSessions
Shelby (AL) – (202) 224-5744, @SenShelbyPress
Wicker (MS) – (202) 224-6253, @SenatorWicker
It is important that we let our Senators know that we oppose their wasteful earmarks – they are a corrupting practice, and our country cannot afford them.