Thursday, February 18, 2010

Republicans lead earmark list

The top earmarkers in both the House and Senate are Republicans, even after the GOP has spent much of the past year making fiscal restraint and runaway government spending the centerpiece of its political message.

Rep. Bill Young (R-Fla.) and Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) — both atop defense spending panels — led their respective bodies in securing earmarks, according to an analysis by the nonprofit Taxpayers for Common Sense.

Young, the ranking member on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, helped secure 63 earmarks worth $128 million. Cochran, his counterpart in the Senate, had his hand in 242 earmarks worth nearly $498 million. In the House, Young was followed by Reps. Earl Pomeroy (D-N.D.) with $121 million, Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) with $116 million and Jim Moran (D-Va.) with $107 million. After Cochran, Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) was No. 2 in earmarks with $392 million, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) received $368 million in earmarks and Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) grabbed $292 million for his home state.