‘A Step Back’: Dems Not Going to Follow GOP in Earmark Ban

By Maya

Nov 16, 2010 3:50pm

ABC News’ Matthew Jaffe reports: Senate Democrats show no signs of following Republicans into a self-imposed temporary moratorium on earmarks, with the party’s top senator Harry Reid today denouncing the ban as a “step backwards.” “I think it's a tremendous step backwards,” Reid said today. “It just gives more power to the executive. I am not one who believes in that.” “I believe, personally, we have a constitutional obligation, a responsibility, to do congressionally directed spending,” he stated. “I do not feel comfortable turning that over to the people downtown.” To date only two Democrats – Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-MO, and Sen. Mark Udall, D-CO – have voiced support for an earmark ban. Now McCaskill has teamed up with Republican Tom Coburn in an effort to force a full Senate vote on an earmark ban. “I think a lot of this is about getting people on record,” McCaskill said this afternoon.    But she acknowledged that Democrats are unlikely to adopt the Republicans’ moratorium. “I don’t think we’d be successful,” she said. “There hasn’t been a huge appetite yet on our side of the aisle to stop this process.” “They feel very strongly about having the prerogative of making funding decisions on an individual basis,” McCaskill said of her Democratic colleagues. “It’s a lot of power. And I think people are reluctant to give up the power to make a solitary, stand-alone decision on where federal money is going to be spent.”

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