Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Will LoBiondo vote to ban all earmarks?

House Democratic leaders have just announced there will be no more earmarks to private contractors (earmakrs to non-profits would be okay).

Republicans including Representative Frank LoBiondo are considering going one further:

House Republicans praised the Democrats for taking this key step but are considering swearing off the practice. "We're going to have to make a decision," House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) told his colleagues at a closed-door meeting Wednesday, according to one attendee. "Are we really willing to put it all on the line to win this thing?"

They have scheduled a special gathering Thursday to debate whether they are willing, on their own, to not seek any earmarks. Previous efforts by Republicans -- who oversaw the dramatic inflation of the use of earmarks during their 12-year majority -- have failed.

I personally think earmarks can be good or bad, and that certainly John McCain's apparent belief that they are important part of the deficit is simply wrong. After all, LoBiondo is not shy about funds he brings to the district, and he's right. So I'm curious what LoBiondo will do in this situation, though I suppose we will only know what the majority of Republicans decide.

Update (3-13-2010): Apparently House Republicans did vote to ban all earmarks for one year. One year? Until they take control? Well, it is still a significant vote.