The Corner

Re: McConnell Does About-Face on Earmarks

Senator Coburn is about to put the GOP to the test on earmarks. The senator just issued a press release announcing his intention to force the U.S. Senate to hold a public vote on an earmark moratorium on the first legislative vehicle to move through the chamber.

The American people have sent a clear message that it is time for this body to make hard choices and live within our means.  Imposing a moratorium on earmarks is an important step that will – as a matter of symbol and substance – begin a new era of sobriety in Washington,” Dr. Coburn said. “President Obama, the debt commission and the American people – by a 2 to 1 margin – all agree it is time to end this practice.  America did just fine for 200 years without earmarks and Congress will do just fine without them as we begin the hard work of putting our nation on a sustainable path.

While the issue of earmarks is symbolic, this could be pretty huge to getting it passed.

And if that passes, I hope Senator Coburn will start working on putting an end to states getting loads of federal money to build bridges and roads. Let’s revive the concept of fiscal federalism.

Veronique de Rugy — Veronique de Rugy is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

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