GOP critics of omnibus have millions in earmarks in it

Sens. John Thune (S.D.), the Republican Policy Committee chairman, and John Cornyn (Texas), head of the Senate GOP campaign committee, denounced the omnibus in a Wednesday press conference and said they would vote against it. But they too have earmarks in it: $55 million for Thune and $80 million for Cornyn, according to The Hill's analysis.

A House GOP aide emphasized that bill opponents’ earmarks were requested before the Senate in November adopted a two-year earmark moratorium going forward. Cornyn was a sponsor of that earmark ban.
The largest Thune earmark is $12.8 million for military aircraft maintenance in South Dakota. Cornyn’s largest is $20 million for a Dallas floodway.

The Hill’s analysis of the $8 billion in earmarks in the bill is based on committee earmark charts. Individual totals include in-state and national earmarks.
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) has $140 million earmarked in the bill, but her office said she too would be voting against it.
“While it contains projects the senator supported, the spending bill is massive and senators have been given limited opportunity to review it and amendments have been prohibited,” explained Courtney Sanders, Hutchison’s press secretary.
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), who has $56 million in earmarks, will also vote against the omnibus.
“Even though the Omnibus Appropriations Act falls under this Congress and is not covered by the moratorium, and even though it contains items that will benefit Georgia, it simply spends too much. I intend to vote against it,” Chambliss said in a statement.

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