On Wednesday, Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, and a bipartisan group of lawmakers will introduce an even stricter set of limits on earmarks. The group includes senators well known for their efforts to reform spending, such as Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican, and Sen. Russ Feingold, Wisconsin Democrat.
House Minority Leader John A. Boehner of Ohio said Republicans have adopted their own earmark limits unilaterally and urged Democrats to follow suit.
“There should be no more taxpayer-funded ‘monuments-to-me,’ in which members earmark taxpayer funds for projects named after themselves. There should be no more ‘airdropping,’ in which taxpayer-funded earmarks are dropped into House-Senate conference reports at the last possible minute to avoid public scrutiny and debate,” he said.
Democrats and some Republicans have resisted a moratorium in the past, and congressional Republicans predicted that Mr. Obama will have a fight on his hands if he wants to expand the earmark ban to all spending.
In talking with reporters, Mr. Obama also defended his reported choice of Leon Panetta to be Central Intelligence Agency director, saying that as a chief of staff to President Clinton, Mr. Panetta was versed on intelligence. Mr. Obama also praised Mr. Panetta as a manager who could help look forward.