RE: House Dems Like Earmark Reform. Senate Dems? Not so much…

Here are few notes on Marc’s earlier post on Senate Democrats trying to kill the earmark reforms passed by the House of Representatives. Rhode Island Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse both voted against the reform package.
It appears that Senator Whitehouse, as feared, sees himself less as a representative of the views of ordinary Rhode Islanders, and more as a Rhode Islander whose job is to go-along-to-get along with the elite governing culture in Washington D.C.
Senators James Webb and John Tester voted in favor of serious earmark reform, so the vote was not simply a matter of freshmen Senators having to obey the established party leadership. Maybe there really is something to the idea of the new Democrats being more conservative than the old-guard of the party. And if I wasn’t voluntarily embargoing any commentary about the 2008 Presidential election until June, I would note that Barack Obama voted in favor of earmark reform, while Hillary Clinton did not. (New Democrats being more conservative than old-line leadership again?)
The strong version of earmark reform has been approved, so the paragraph below no longer applies. Details available in Marc’s post immediately below.
{Be aware: the new disclosure rules have not passed the Senate yet; the vote taken yesterday was only on whether to table a final vote on the reform or not. Democratic Majority leader Harry Reid is going to try to offer an alternative proposal, which according to Senator Tom Coburn (via the Associated Press), would have required full disclosure on only 534 of the 12,852 earmarks in Senate bills last year.}

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