Barely a week after the Republicans saw a tidal wave of victories in the midterm elections, members of the GOP establishment are already fighting back against the very policies that helped bring this new group of conservatives into office.
Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina who is pushing for a moratorium on earmarks told The Hill that, “Americans want Congress to shut down the earmark favor factory, and next week I believe House and Senate Republicans will unite to stop pork barrel spending,” DeMint said in a statement. “Instead of spending time chasing money for pet projects, lawmakers will be able to focus on balancing the budget, reforming the tax code and repealing the costly health care takeover.”
Unfortunately, The Politico reported today that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has been working behind closed doors to convince the new crop of “tea party” conservatives that they need to keep an open mind when it comes to “earmarks.”
The Politico stories explains that “McConnell’s heightened activity signals what Senate insiders say is real fear among senior members — that the DeMint plan actually stands a serious chance of passing. And that could have uncomfortable implications for a bloc of GOP senators — like McConnell, a member of the Appropriations Committee — who annually send hundreds of millions of dollars for projects in their home states.”
So let me get this straight the GOP establishment is scared that they might actually succeed in putting an end to earmarks and somehow this is a bad thing? Well pardon me, but I thought the whole reason that people were supposed to Republican was because this was the party that would actually get rid of pork barrel spending.
While we all knew at some point that the “business as usual” Republican establishment would eventually try to move the party back towards many of the same habits that got them in the minority in the first place, I was hoping that my libertarian fantasy would have lasted at least until the new Congress took over.
But alas the honeymoon is over…