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Speaking from the Senate floor on Monday, Mr. McConnell said, “I don’t apologize” for supporting pork projects in the past, but “there is simply no doubt that the abuse of this practice has caused Americans to view it as a symbol of the waste and the out-of-control spending that every Republican in Washington is determined to fight.”

Mr. McConnell made the announcement after a private, 90-minute meeting with incoming GOP senators, including Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida - two of the “tea party” movement’s biggest midterm winners, who signed off on the open letter calling on party leaders to reject earmarks.

Following the meeting, Mr. Rubio said that anybody who gets elected has a responsibility to fulfill their campaign promises. “We all have obligations to come up here and be held accountable,” he said. “I think everybody understands that.”

By Monday evening, it seemed clear that with Mr. McConnell’s support, the earmark ban is now destined to be embraced by the 47-member Senate Republican Conference on Tuesday. Several members, previously on the fence, expressed support for the plan.