CofCC.org News Team
With the House already passing a budget that requires Bush’s tax cuts to expire, McCain introduced a moratorium on “pork barrel” spending. Obama and Clinton voted in favor of McCain’s bill, but it still failed at 71-29.
Earmarks have exploded in number and cost in recent years, accompanied by charges of abuse and public outrage over egregious examples like the proposed “bridge to nowhere” in Alaska, which would have cost more than $200 million to serve an island with a population of about 50.
McCain, who has battled with members of both parties over them for years, blamed pork barrel spending for the Republicans losing control of Congress in the 2006 elections.
“This may be the last bastion in America where they don’t get it,” he told reporters after Thursday night’s vote. “Americans are sick and tired of the way we do business in Washington. As president, I promise the American people … the first earmarked, pork-barrel bill that comes across my desk, I’ll veto it.”
However, on taxes, the Arizona Republican voted to extend the full roster of Bush’s tax cuts, which he opposed seven years ago as being tilted in favor of the wealthy.