Hodes wants fellow Dems to follow GOP earmark ban


Hodes, a junior member who is running in a tight race for Senate, is putting pressure on Democratic leaders by circulating a letter among colleagues asking them to support a ban on all earmarks and bring an up or down vote on his resolution doing so.

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“When it comes to reform, both parties should work together to get it done. And when it comes to the House’s broken earmark system, half-measures toward reform will not do,” Hodes wrote in the letter.

Hodes spokesman Aaron Rottenstein said the letter was sent to colleagues late Tuesday afternoon so he would have a better idea of how many co-signers it would attract by Wednesday.

The game of earmark chicken between House Democrats and Republicans continued this week with Republicans challenging Democrats to implement a full moratorium on all earmarks and Democrats arguing that the one-year GOP ban on all earmarks is a bogus, temporary election-year gambit.

One Democratic aide asked what Republicans are going to do about the dozens of earmark requests members have already submitted.

Spokeswomen for both the Republicans and Democrats on the Appropriations Committee would not indicate how many members have requested earmarks so far because they are not officially submitted until the March 21 deadline. Republicans will not consider any earmark requests already in the system and members still have time to delete any information about earmarks they put into the online earmark database. Democrats will only consider earmark requests to non-profit or government entities.

The GOP spokeswoman did not say how Republicans are going to deny Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), an unapologetic earmarker who has said he would “do his best” to try to defy the GOP earmark ban if his constituents request them.