All three presidential candidates are scheduled to be back in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. A Republican senator has proposed a yearlong ban on earmarks and, shocking though it may seem, John McCain, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are apparently on board with the idea. Their colleagues in the Senate, however, are somewhat less enthusiastic.
Congress also expects to vote on a budget framework and tax proposals.
The Senate is expected to vote Thursday on a one-year moratorium on earmarks, a proposal that has pitted presidential candidates John McCain, Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton against some of their parties’ leaders and driven a wedge between fiscal conservatives and old-bull Senate appropriators who don’t take kindly to the intrusion on their turf.
At the center of it all is Sen. Jim DeMint.
The first-term South Carolina Republican introduced the earmark moratorium after becoming convinced that the GOP’s participation in the provisioning of home-state pork—as well as its ties to lobbyists and all their “shameless requests”—had cost the party control of the House and the Senate in 2006.
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