Senate Democrats on Tuesday defended the congressional system of earmarking even as their GOP colleagues approved a voluntary, two-year ban on the practice.
There was scant support among the chamber’s majority party to follow the lead of Republicans who voted in a closed-door caucus meeting to ban the practice of tucking home-state pork into appropriations bills. The vote was almost unanimous.
Instead, Democrats defended the age-old practice by noting they already improved the system’s transparency in 2008 and that they reserved the right to seek funding for their states’ needs.
“We have a constitutional obligation and responsibility,” said Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). “I have an obligation to the people of Nevada.”