Saturday Night Remainders
There has been a lot of talk about earmarks this week. Of course, the Senate GOP passed a conference moratorium on the practice earlier driving the discussion. There was little drama in the end, and Senators Roger Wicker and Thad Cochran made the somewhat surprising decision to support their Republican colleagues.
Much of the media attention has centered on two things. One, some decided to use their editorial pages to refer to the policy as political grandstanding that isn’t going to change anything. Others used the occasion to explain what a negative effect this will have on Mississippi.
But an AP article from Friday was just flat wrong in my opinion. Judge for yourself. It argues that Cochran “isn’t saying whether he will support it (the ban).” This is what was reported in the National Journal before Cochran issued his statement on the day of the GOP vote. In that he said that while he doesn’t necessarily want to cede power to federal bureaucrats, but that the moratorium “is the will of the Republican conference.” I take that to say he will respect the ban. Do I think that Cochran is going to suddenly bring no money back to Mississippi? Obviously not, but I imagine he will find some other way than the traditional practice of earmarks.
** Alan Nunnelee and Steven Palazzo joined the House GOP in unanimously rejecting earmarks. Here is a statement from Nunnelee on the ban: “This is an important step in getting control of federal spending. If we are going to stop the out of control spending, Congress must lead the way in controlling itself.”
As we have mentioned, Nunnelee and Palazzo are in Washington for freshman orientation and yesterday they drew numbers to pick offices for the 85 new Republicans. Palazzo actually got a very nice draw, the 20th pick, and with it he chose 331 Cannon. Nunnelee wasn’t so lucky. He drew 84th (next to last), and ended up with 1432 Longworth.
*** Haley Barbour was also in the news this week. He will hand over the reins of the RGA to Texas Gov. Rick Perry (h/t: Yall Politics). Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell will be the next vice chairman. But Barbour will maintain a presence by taking over the newly created position of policy chairman, which is certainly right up Barbour’s alley.
On the potential presidential talks, I learned about a Haley Barbour social network which was “created to systematically connect a vast network of Americans who support Haley Barbour.”
And last night on Fox News Special Report, Kirsten Powers labeled Barbour as “the only who really jumps out at me as a great candidate” when talking about GOP presidential candidates. You can check out the segment here; Powers talks about Barbour around the 4:30 mark.