Prime Porkers

by Andrew Stiles

On the homepage, I examine the reluctance of Senate Democrats to jump on the anti-earmark bandwagon. Granted, resistance to a Senate-wide earmark ban certainly isn’t limited to one party. Roll Call has compiled a list of the top 10 earmarking Senators in terms of dollar amount (your taxes at work) in FY 2010. It may or may not surprise you:

  1. Thad Cochran (R., Miss.) — $520 million
  2. Roger Wicker (R., Miss.) — $378 million
  3. Orrin Hatch (R., Utah) — $359 million
  4. Daniel Inouye (D., Hawaii) — $351 million
  5. Harry Reid (D., Nev.) — $300 million
  6. Robert Byrd (D., W.V.) — $293 million
  7. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.) — $280 million
  8. Carl Levin (D., Mich.) — $269 million
  9. Tom Harkin (D., Iowa) — $264 million
  10. John Kerry (D., Mass.) — $254 million

Hatch is up for reelection in 2012 and supported the GOP’s voluntary two-year moratorium on pork-spending. So did Wicker, who is up in 2014. Cochran, however, remains in the Murkowski/Inhofe camp of Republicans not only opposed to a ban on earmarks but who have promised continue earmarking in spite of the ban. On the Democratic side, well, the numbers kind of speak for themselves.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.) has promised to bring a vote on a binding Senate-wide earmark moratorium immediately following the Thanksgiving holiday — in the form of an amendment to the Food Safety Modernization Act (more here). Harry Reid, and nervous Senators from both parties, want nothing to do with it. Something to look for next week.

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