Tuesday is the first day of the rest of our lives because on that day we will see if the Republican Party is serious about reform or just mouths the words to get back power.
The Senate Republican caucus is set to vote on a ban on earmarks. Eighteen senators have committed to support the proposal. Twenty senators have committed to back the ban and seven are opposed. But 19 are still undecided. We need 24 to pass the proposal.
Please call your senator to weigh in! Earmarking is one of the key causes of the massive federal deficit. It promotes projects that are usually wastes of time and money. It is a disgrace that the Republicans did not end this obnoxious practice when they held power in the Senate before the 2006 election. They must commit to ending it now.
Yes votes already in hand are: Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) (Congratulations Mitch for seeing the light!), Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), John Barrasso (Wyo.), John Boozman (Ark.), Richard Burr (N.C.), Dan Coats (Ind.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), Bob Corker (Tenn.), John Cornyn (Texas), Jim DeMint (S.C.), John Ensign (Nev.), Mike Enzi (Wyo.), Orrin Hatch (Utah), Mike Johanns (Neb.), Ron Johnson (Wis.), Mark Kirk (Ill.), Mike Lee (Utah), Rand Paul (Ky.), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Jeff Sessions (Ala.), and Pat Toomey (Pa.).
The no votes — the enemies of reform — are Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Thad Cochran (Miss.) — the granddaddy of earmarks, newly elected Sen. John Hoeven (N.D.), James Inhofe (Okla.), Richard Shelby (Ala.), and Roger Wicker (Miss.).
And here are the 20 we have to work on:
- Roy Blunt (Mo.) = 202-225-6536
Newly elected, Roy was part of the House establishment but had pledged to be a reformer in the Senate. Let's see.
- Scott Brown (Mass.) = 202-224-4543
We all hailed his election. Now lets see if he really is a reformer.
- Saxby Chambliss (Ga.) = 202-224-3521
A southern conservative, let's see if he really will hold the line on spending!
- Susan Collins (Maine) = 202-224-2523
Perennially undecided. Lets she how she goes.
- Mike Crapo (Idaho) = 202-224-6142
Normally a dependable conservative, this should be an easy vote for him.
- Lindsey Graham (S.C.) = 202-224-5972
He campaigned for John McCain and praised him for his opposition to earmarks. Now its time for him to vote!
- Chuck Grassley (Iowa) = 202-224-3744
We all cheered his opposition to Obamacare. We hope he does the right thing on earmarks. Chuck was embarrassed when he tried to get an earmark for an indoor rain forest in Iowa — there was one nearby in Omaha. He got it passed but couldn't generate enough local support for matching funds. No more indoor rain forests, please. Not on our dime!
- Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas) = 202-224-5922
Running in the Texas governors' primary, Kay Bailey assured us she was a conservative. Now let's see if she meant it!
- James Inhofe (Okla.) = 202-224-4721
A conservative leader from a conservative state, he should be with us on this one.
- Johnny Isakson (Ga.) = 202-224-3643
For a southern conservative like Isakson, this should be a no-brainer.
- Jon Kyl (Ariz.) = 202-224-4521
Kyl has always been a staunch conservative. What's to think about?
- Richard Lugar (Ind.) = 202-224-4814
Does this member of the GOP old guard need replacing? Lets see how he votes on this one!
- John McCain (Ariz.) = 202-224-2235
Just returning from a foreign trip. We assume he'll vote right. Its always been his issue.
- Jerry Moran (Kan.) = 913-945-2413
He won the Kansas Senate primary by saying he was a solid conservative. Now he has to prove it!
- Rob Portman (Ohio) = 614-824-5513
As former head of the Office of Management and Budget, Portman, of all people, should appreciate what a disaster earmarks are. Is he going to be a true conservative or a Washington sellout? This vote will tell.
- James Risch (Idaho) = 202-224-2752
For a western conservative, this is a no-brainer.
- Pat Roberts (Kan.) = 202-224-4774
A conservative, he should be with us.
- Olympia Snowe (Maine) = 202-224-5344
Why do all votes boil down to Olympia?
- John Thune (S.D.) = 202-224-2321
If he wants to run for president, this vote is make or break
- David Vitter (Louisiana) = 202-224-4623
We trusted him and re-elected him. Now we'll see if he deserved it.
Please call your senator right now. The vote is Tuesday.
© Dick Morris & Eileen McGann