Cochran and Wicker Paid Attention To November 2
The Senate GOP decision to ban earmarks really turned out to be a somewhat dull affair. After GOP Leader Mitch McConnell announced he would be supporting the moratorium, any air in the life of opponents was removed. The Tea Party vs. establishment fight that the media would have loved to portray never really happened. Sure there are a few Senators who haven’t given up on earmarks, but according to reports the vote wasn’t even close among the 47 member caucus.
The two biggest surprises to me: Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker.
Both Senators expressed uneasiness with giving additional power over to Obama or federal bureaucrats and that is certainly not lost on me. Will Mississippi all of a sudden get shut out when it comes to federal money? My guess is no. But as an official in Wicker’s office told me this is a positive approach to take a step back and reevaluate the process. While we don’t see or hear about many of the earmark requests, I was told that local governments were simply getting out of control with what they were asking for. Will removing earmarks solve our problems? No (and no Republican is saying that), but it is a good first step.
Obama has previously opined that he opposes earmarks as well. I think we will soon see pressure for Democrats in the Senate to go along as well.
Lastly, this move shows the country that they are trying a different approach. And this actually contrasts pretty well with the House Democrats who are bent on keeping Nancy Pelosi as their Minority Leader. Defeated Democrats such as Gene Taylor and Travis Childers have gone on the record to say Pelosi needs to step aside. Anyone not tucked away inside San Francisco could tell you that.
Apparently the House Democrats paid no attention to November 2. Wicker, Cochran and the Senate GOP did. Some will say that Wicker and Cochran are bowing to political pressure. I suppose, but they were elected to represent their constituents…correct?