As previously stated, there is no earmark moratorium. Politico reports on the joint work of Sen. Jim Inhofe, earmark fan, and Sen. John McCain, earmark foe, in finding a work around for approving earmarks:
But in an unexpected twist, longtime earmark apologist Inhofe has quietly scored McCain’s endorsement on a proposal that would allow home-state projects if they are first authorized by Senate committees. It’s a major coup for Inhofe, who has emerged as the most aggressive Republican battling to save earmarks in a year when Congress has effectively banned them.
Under the Inhofe-McCain proposal, the definition of earmarks would exempt projects specifically authorized by Senate committees, that meet “funding eligibility criteria” established by the relevant committees or that are created through a competitive-bidding and formula-based process. Earmarks could also be enacted with the support of 75 senators.
I also suggest reading my colleague John Wonderlich’s post about a mostly unknown earmark transparency executive order issued by President George W. Bush that is apparently going unenforced.