ABC News' Matthew Jaffe reports:
Earlier today, Republican Sens. John Thune and John Cornyn were at pains to explain how they requested tens of millions of dollars in earmarks earlier this year but are now denouncing the Senate’s $1.1 trillion omnibus bill because of… earmarks.
But another Republican – Utah’s Orrin Hatch – has put his money where his mouth is.
Earlier this month, Hatch asked the Senate Appropriations Committee to remove the earmarks that he had previously requested this year. Hatch made the request in a letter on December 2 nd, explaining that in light of the GOP’s voluntary earmark moratorium enacted in November he wanted to remove the pork money that he had initially asked for.
So while the massive omnibus bill now contains a whopping 6,714 earmarks at a cost of $8.3 billion, none of them come from Hatch.
Hatch is joined by other GOP senators such as Arizona’s John McCain who also have no pork projects in the bill.
Across the Capitol, House Republicans have also adopted their own moratorium. Earlier this year four of them – including Ron Paul of Texas and Don Young of Alaska – broke rank with the party and requested earmark money for their states.