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DeMint Seeks to Strike Earmarks From Defense Bill

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) wants to offer an amendment to the Defense authorization bill that would take out language permitting earmarks added during the committee report.

DeMint charges the bill could be vetoed because several earmarks were slipped in at the last minute and with little oversight. His amendment is needed, DeMint spokesman Wesley Denton said, because the earmarks were not “written in the bill, not debated, [and] not voted on.”

“This is an attempt to make law without actually writing law. The ‘incorporation language’ is just a gimmick to strong-arm taxpayers into paying for secret earmarks,” Denton said. “DeMint’s amendment will ensure that all of these projects are subjected to a competitive, merit-based review before any of them are funded.”

Meanwhile, top Republicans are reviewing a unanimous consent request offered by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on the number of amendments Republicans can offer as well as timing on the bill. Reid said Monday morning that he hoped to get to tax legislation soon.

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