Republican opponents of a moratorium on earmarks should expect a primary challenge, Sen. Tom CoburnTom Coburn'Path of least resistance' problematic for Congress Freedom Caucus saved Paul Ryan's job: GOP has promises to keep Don't be fooled: Carper and Norton don't fight for DC MORE (R-Okla.) said.

Coburn, one of the conservative proponents in the Senate of a ban on earmarking, the process of directing spending in legislation to a specific project, put on notice his GOP colleagues who don't favor such a ban.

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"You bet .... They sure should," Coburn told The Weekly Standard's John McCormack when asked whether Republicans who oppose the moratorium should expect a primary challenge.

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) is offering a resolution to the Senate Republican Conference this week to adopt a moratorium on earmarks. The proposal has divided conservatives and pitted DeMint against some GOP leaders, who argue that banning earmarks would cede too much authority to the Obama administration on spending.

The ban is being driven by DeMint and many of the conservative candidates whom he helped push through primaries against establishment candidates and incumbent Republicans earlier this year. Many of these senators-elect make up DeMint's base of support for the earmarking moratorium, including Sens.-elect Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Marco RubioMarco RubioDHS extends protected status for Haitians for six months Congress should let local communities set their own PACE Rubio: ‘People got what they voted for’ MORE (R-Fla.), Rand PaulRand PaulSheriff Clarke denies plagiarism report, calls reporter a 'sleaze bag' GOP talks of narrowing ‘blue-slip’ rule for judges House votes to expand death penalty for police killings MORE (R-Ky.), Mike LeeMike LeeAbortion poses hurdle for Senate healthcare bill GOP senators to Turkey: Apologize for DC brawl Rolling back net neutrality would hurt minorities and low-income families MORE (R-Utah), Ron JohnsonRon JohnsonHealth groups push FDA not to repeal e-cig rules Senate GOP short on ideas for stabilizing ObamaCare markets Johnson urges FDA commissioner to review new rules for e-cigarettes MORE (R-Wis.) and Kelly AyotteKelly AyotteWeek ahead: Comey firing dominates Washington GOP senators pitch Merrick Garland for FBI director Kelly Ayotte among candidates to be FBI director: report MORE (R-N.H.).

"Republicans can send a signal that they get it," Coburn said. "Or they can send a signal that they continue to not get it and say they're not going to change. And if they do that, they're going to pay for it at the ballot box."

The foremost opponent of the earmarks ban is actually Coburn's Oklahoma colleague, Sen. James InhofeJames InhofeFive roadblocks for Trump’s T infrastructure plan Trump admin delays greenhouse gas measurement rule for highways GOP senators on Comey firing: Where they stand MORE (R). Despite the pair's difference on the issue, Coburn praised Inhofe as a "dang good senator."