Politico: The Senate’s Proud Porkers

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Oklahoma Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe said Tuesday that he’s taking a “very unpopular stand” by fighting for the right to keep sending pork back home.

Turns out it’s more popular than he thinks.


Inhofe’s Senate colleagues show little appetite for the sort of earmark reforms the House is pushing, and some of them are aggressively making the case that it’s their constitutional right to direct federal spending to their pet projects, big and small.

”Call them the Proud Porkers.”

Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), who led the Senate with nearly $500 million in earmarks in this year’s spending bills, said he won’t be shamed into supporting a one-year moratorium on earmarks just because House Republicans are doing it. “I don’t have any guilt trips,” said Cochran, who is the ranking Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee, which pulls the federal purse strings.

Cochran was equally critical of House Democrats’ new ban on earmarks to for-profit companies, saying that since Democrats won’t give earmarks to private companies, then they must be OK with shelling out federal dollars to government-subsidized industries.

“You want to nationalize all of our industries so that they work just for the federal government?” Cochran told POLITICO. “Bulls