Nelson's resolution shifts earmark savings to deficit reduction

House and Senate Republicans have agreed among themselves to forgo earmarks for at least this year although many Republicans say they want a permanent moratorium on the congressional practice that amounts to about 1 percent of federal spending each year.  

"The national debt is now above $14 trillion and Congress should do all it can to address the debt before it unfolds into the kinds of crises we’ve seen overseas," he said. If we’re going to ban congressional earmarks, we should make sure the ban helps reduce the debt."