By Vicki Needham - 11/16/10 10:15 PM EST
He pointed out that there won't be an open amendment process "because we simply don't have time for that."
While an earmark ban is on McCaskill's Christmas list, she acknowledged the difficulty of getting Democrats to sign on to the moratorium.
"I don’t think we’d be successful," she told reporters today. "There hasn’t been a huge appetite yet on our side of the aisle to stop this process."
Only one other Democrat, Sen. Mark UdallMark UdallColorado GOP Senate race to unseat Dem incumbent is wide open Energy issues roil race for Senate Unable to ban Internet gambling, lawmakers try for moratorium MORE (Colo.), has expressed support for the move.
Reid signaled he's willing to discuss the issue with the caucus — it wasn't discussed during today's lunches, according to several lawmakers — debate a ban and hold a vote on it.
"But I don't accept what you're talking about, that it's reform," he said. "I think it's a tremendous step backwards. It just gives more power to the executive branch. I am not one that believes in that. I think we have three separate and equal branches of government, and I think they should be equal in power. That's what it means. And I am not in favor of delegating my constitutional responsibility to the White House."
In fiscal 2010, there were about $16 billion in earmarks, less than 1 percent of the federal budget.
The Senate Republican Conference will hold a vote on a two-year voluntary ban, initiated by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.).
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellTrump hires Rand Paul's former digital director: report Overnight Finance: Trump threatens NAFTA withdrawal | Senate poised for crucial Puerto Rico vote | Ryan calls for UK trade deal | Senate Dems block Zika funding deal Overnight Healthcare: Blame game over Zika funding MORE (R-Ky.) said Monday that we would support the ban although he is concerned about turning over specific spending issues to the executive branch. He's also said it doesn't achieve the desired level of spending cuts needed to reduce the deficit.