Reid says opposes U.S. congressional earmark ban

November 16, 2010

Nov 16 (Reuters) – U.S. Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid said on Tuesday that he would oppose banning the congressional pet projects known as “earmarks” that many Republicans see as examples of wasteful government spending.

But he said he would schedule a Senate vote on the topic.

Reid’s comments come one day after the Senate’s top Republican, Mitch McConnell, switched positions and said he would support an earmark ban advanced by many conservative members.

Earmarks, which have accounted for roughly $16 billion or about 0.46 percent of the $3.5 trillion federal budget in recent years, are a popular way for lawmakers to steer federal dollars back to their home districts and states. Reid and other lawmakers say they are a way to ensure that Congress maintains control over federal spending.

“I think I have an obligation to the people of Nevada to do what’s important to Nevada and not what’s important to some bureaucrat with green eyeshades,” Reid told reporters.

With voter concern rising over record levels of debt, many Republicans see an earmark ban as a first step toward getting federal spending under control. (Reporting by Richard Cowan and Andy Sullivan; Editing by Eric Walsh)

sounds like being on the wrong side of the perceptual fence. At a time when people are looking or clues as to party intents, why this?

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