Romney starts online petition to support earmark ban

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has started an online petition to support a proposed ban on earmarks.

Romney tweeted Monday: "Support Senator @JimDeMint in his effort to curb federal spending. Sign the 'no earmark' petition today: http://mi.tt/NoEarmarks"

The petition is through his Free and Strong America PAC. Romney, a possible 2012 presidential candidate, praised Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), who is leading the charge to ban spending earmarks.

Romney writes: "Senator DeMint is courageously standing on conviction with his much-needed proposal to ban earmarks, which will curb wasteful spending and restore accountability to the way Congress spends taxpayer dollars. We all need to recognize that Washington can’t responsibly begin to address out-of-control debt and deficits until the practice of cramming earmarks into spending bills is stopped.

"While earmarks are not the only cause of our budget proplems [sic], they have come to symbolize what’s wrong with Washington. What was once accepted as the normal way of doing business has to be re-examined in light of our $13 trillion national debt. I encourage all Republicans to embrace Senator DeMint’s earmark ban and send a powerful message that we will no longer tolerate business as usual on Capitol Hill," he writes on the PAC's website.

People are then encouraged to sign the petition.

Voters listed unhappiness with spending in Washington as one of their top concerns this election cycle. Several Republicans ran successful campaigns based on the issue.

The Republican Conference is scheduled to vote on the ban at their weekly meeting Tuesday.

DeMint said Monday the vote on whether or not to ban earmarks will be the first test as to whether members fully grasp the lessons of the midterm elections.  

The senator, who easily won reelection, was a major force in the 2010 election cycle.

Through his Senate Conservatives Fund, DeMint helped raise several million dollars for Tea Party backed candidates and played a leading role in several high-profile GOP primary fights.

On the House side, presumed Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and likely Majority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) announced they will hold a vote among House Republicans to ban earmarks.

—Shane D'Aprile contributed to this post.