The incoming House Republican majority has proposed extending a moratorium on earmarks, which are funds requested by individual lawmakers for specific projects back home. On Tuesday, conservative Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina said that he would press his GOP colleagues in the Senate to adopt a similar moratorium when lawmakers returned to Washington next week.
But several senior Republican lawmakers consider earmarks part of their constitutional obligation to determine how federal money is spent. They disagree with election-year rhetoric that government spending can be reined in with a strict earmark ban.
On one of their signature issues. That didn't take long.