McCain Loses Fight to Stem Earmarks

By  | 


In 2008, both major presidential candidates promised to curtail earmarks. The only one who has yet to blink on the issue lost his fight today to reign in the excesses of the new spending bill.

John McCain just can’t win.

The story:

The Senate voted overwhelmingly to preserve thousands of earmarks in a $410 billion spending bill on Tuesday, brushing aside Sen. John McCain’s claim that President Barack Obama and Congress are merely conducting business as usual in a time of economic hardship.

McCain’s attempt to strip out an estimated 8,500 earmarks failed on a vote of 63-32. The Arizona senator’s proposal also would have cut roughly $32 billion from the measure and kept spending at last year’s levels in several federal agencies.

Last year’s Republican presidential candidate said both he and Obama pledged during the campaign to “stop business as usual in Washington,” and he quoted the president as having said he would go line by line to make sure money was spent wisely.

McCain has a distinguished career battling earmarks and I’m glad he’s still fighting the good fight. I’ll hold off calling Obama an earmark hypocrite until after he’s had more time to impose his will. He did keep earmarks out of the stimulus bill (although he hardly reigned in the excess). Hopefully the continued anti-earmark actions by McCain and others will push Obama into keeping his promise on future spending bills.

We’ll see…