In a surprise move, Sen. Jim DeMint (R., S.C.), chairman of the Senate Steering Committee, will seek a vote this afternoon on an amendment to prohibit the practice of trading votes for earmarks in the United States Senate. “Americans are disgusted by the earmarks, kickbacks, and backroom deals that have been used to buy votes for this health-care takeover,” says DeMint to NRO. “I hope we can put every senator on record on whether they support this legislative bribery, and we’ll know who is part of the problem.”
The vote will be to suspend the rules of the Senate to get an up-or-down vote on his amendment. Motions to suspend Senate rules require the affirmative support of two-thirds of the Senate — 67 when all 100 senators are present and voting. It is important to note that DeMint’s amendment would apply only to future legislation, not the current health-care bill.