The Associated Press is reporting that the House Republicans have not been able to come to an agreement on the earmark reform provisions in the lobbying and ethics “reform” bill (if you want to know why I use quotations marks go here). In one corner is Appropriations Chair Jerry Lewis (R-CA) who is peeved that the earmark reform only targets earmarks originating out of his committee. Lewis declared that a reform that “does not touch on the ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ is not really reform.” In the other corner is Mike Pence (R-IN), the spokesman for the most conservative Republicans. He said to CongressDailyPM that Lewis’ argument against limiting earmark reform to the Appropriations Committee alone “feels to many of us like an effort to defeat earmark reform.” Caught in the middle is Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) who is “confident” the bill will be “on the floor tomorrow” despite Republicans having “some work to do on earmark reform”.
In the Senate Tom Coburn (R-OK) is planning to offer amendments to the emergency spending bill directly targeting spending that he wants to cut, including the Gulf Coast railroad sought by Trent Lott, Thad Cochran, and Haley Barbour. (CongressDailyPM)