Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh (D) opposed yesterday’s $410 billion omnibus spending bill because it was “bloated” and included $7.7 billion in earmarks. “At a time when so many American families are tightening their belts to make ends meet, Congress should be as equally committed to living within its means,” he said in a statement.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called the spending bill a “missed opportunity” and urged President Obama to veto it. “The bill costs far too much for a government that should be watching every dime,” he said.
And Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe (R) said in opposition to the legislation: “Each and every time, whether a Republican or Democratic initiative, I have refused to go along with big government spending or big government solutions.”
But as it turns out, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense, Bayh had four solo earmarks attached to his name in the legislation, worth $2.7 million; McConnell had 36 totaling $51 million; and Inhofe had 34 earmarks worth $53 million.
Indeed, of the 35 U.S. senators who opposed the omnibus spending bill last night — in the form of a “no” on the cloture vote — 28 of them had solo earmarks in the legislation.
In total, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense, these 28 senators had a combined 307 solo earmarks totaling nearly $240 million.
When First Read asked Bayh’s office why he opposed the legislation yet had earmarks in it, spokesman Eric Kleiman replied, “Bayh ranks 78th in total earmarks in the omnibus bill. He was also one of only two Dem senators to vote for the McCain amendment last week to strip all earmarks from the bill, even his own.”
Inhofe spokesman Matt Dempsey said his boss’ opposition had nothing to do with the earmarks but rather the overall spending in it.
McConnell’s office had a similar response — he opposed the overall spending in the legislation.
Here’s the list of the little piggies who opposed the omnibus bill by voting no on cloture and the number and amounts of the pork they stuck in the bill:
John Barrasso (R-WY)–4 earmarks, $2.7 million
Evan Bayh (D-IN)–4 earmarks, $1.2 million
Bob Bennett (R-UT)–23 earmarks, $18 million
Sam Brownback (R-KS)–21 earmarks, $12 million
Jim Bunning (R-KY)–5 earmarks, $735,000
Richard Burr (R-NC)–3 earmarks, $1.3 million
Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)–7 earmarks, $4.3 million
Susan Collins (R-ME)–1 earmark, $380,000
Bob Corker (R-TN)–1 earmark, $760,000
John Cornyn (R-RX)–5 earmarks, $2.5 million
Mike Crapo (R-ID)–1 earmark, $100,000
Mike Enzi (R-WY)–5 earmarks, $1.7 million
Lindsey Graham (R-SC)–14 earmarks, $9.5 million
Chuck Grassley (R-IO)– 8 earmarks, $350,000
Judd Gregg (R-NH)–19 earmarks, $10 million
Orrin Hatch (R-UT)–7 earmarks, $700,000
Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)–35 earmarks, $9.9 million
James Inhofe (R–OK)–34 earmarks, $53 million
Johnny Isakson (R-GA)–2 earmarks, $1.4 million
Jon Kyl (R-AZ)– 3 earmarks, $5 million
Richard Lugar (R-IN)– 10 earmarks, $3.3 million
Mel Martinez R-FL–8 earmarks, $18.8 million
Mitch McConnell (R-KY)–36 earmarks, $51 million
Pat Roberts (R-KS)–11 earmarks, $2.2 million
Jeff Sessions (R-AL)–12 earmarks, $4.3 million
John Thune (R-SD)–6 earmarks, $4.3 million
David Vitter (R-LA)–16 earmarks, $4 million
George Voinovich (R-OH)–6 earmarks, $13.5 million