Bill Nelson and George LeMieux Vote to Ban Congressional Earmarks
Both of Florida’s two U.S. senators voted on Tuesday morning to ban congressional earmarks. The measure fell short, with only 39 senators -- including Democrat Bill Nelson and Republican George LeMieux from Florida -- voting to support the ban.
"Earmarks might make up only a fraction of federal spending, but they encourage members to approve the larger bills in which there are massive spending increases,” said LeMieux. “Some annual appropriations bills grow 5, 10 and 20 percent each year and we cannot sustain that level of growth.
“No wonder the country is so far in debt -- nearly $14 trillion,” added LeMieux. “We spend $200 billion a year in interest alone. In all due respect to my colleagues, part of the reason these appropriations bills get support is because there are member projects in them. You can't vote against the bill once your hometown project is in it. It is the engine that drives the train."
While LeMieux is leaving the Senate, he is considering running against Nelson in 2012.