McConnell Does a 180 On Earmarks

Washington, DC – Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said he's heeding the message that voters sent in midterm elections that swept Democrats from power in the House. He says he can't accuse Democrats of failing to ignore the wishes of the American people and then be guilty of the same thing.

"Nearly every day that the Senate's been in session for the past two years, I have come down to this spot and said that Democrats are ignoring the wishes of the American people," McConnell said in a surprise announcement in a Senate floor speech. "When it comes to earmarks, I won't be guilty of the same thing."

McConnell's move heads off a battle with conservative Republican senators who had signaled they would force a vote Tuesday on banning the practice. House GOP leaders have already endorsed a ban on earmarking.