- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 14, 2010

GOP Sen. Jim DeMint is leading a Capitol Hill charge to eliminate earmarks from federal legislation, but on Sunday he acknowledged criticism that bills with money for projects in his hometown state had influenced his voting.

“I am a recovering earmarker,” Mr. DeMint, South Carolina Republican, said on “Fox News Sunday.” “Thank God there’s a recovery group called the tea party.”

Mr. DeMint said many of the roughly 90 incoming GOP House freshman as well as House Republican Leader John Boehner and party leaders in the chamber have already indicate support for such a ban.

“It’s not just a tea party movement,” said Mr. DeMint, among the House GOP’s most conservative members. “I think we’ll get the votes.”

He also said the ban would reduce federal spending “drastically,” and the better alternatives would be distributing federal money to states — for such projects as multimillion highways — through block or competitive grants.

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