Sen. Inhofe Takes a Stand for Earmarks

...putting him at odds with fellow Oklahoma GOPer Tom Coburn
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 15, 2010 9:03 AM CST
James Inhofe, center, speaks with journalists at a UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen, Thursday Dec. 17, 2009.   (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

(Newser) – Not all Republicans are in a hurry to ban earmarks. Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe is taking a stand in favor of the perennial political punching bag, and it’s put him in direct conflict with his state’s other Republican senator, Tom Coburn, Politico reports. Inhofe recently derided an unnamed senator for calling earmark projects a “gateway drug”—a phrase Coburn uses often.

He followed that up with an editorial saying that an earmark ban “won’t save taxpayers one dime.” Coburn fired back with an op-ed of his own in the National Review, saying Inhofe’s argument had “serious logical inconsistencies.” But Inhofe’s not alone; Politico envisions him leading a significant faction of the GOP in the war over earmarks. In an interview, Inhofe said that in his mind, senators like Coburn, John McCain, and Jim DeMint only rail against earmarks because it’s a “huge political plus for them.”

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