Updated 4:42 p.m. EDT, Tue April 15, 2008
Obama: No earmarks for 2009
Last year Sen. Barack Obama, submitted a laundry list of federal funding requests, known as earmarks, to the Senate Appropriations Committee: 112 earmarks totaling more than $330 million in taxpayer funds.
But that was last year.
This year, as the Senate funding request deadline approaches and the final primaries of the Democratic nomination process draw near, Obama's staff told CNN the junior senator from Illinois will request no earmarks for fiscal year 2009.
The dramatic change is in line with a statement Obama issued last month in connection with an amendment calling for a one-year moratorium on earmarks in the Senate.
The amendment, sponsored by federal earmark foe Sen. Jim DeMint, R-South Carolina, was shot down by a vote of 79-21.
"We can no longer accept a process that doles out earmarks based on a member of Congress' seniority, rather than the merit of the project," Obama's statement said.
"The entire earmark process needs to be re-examined and reformed. For that reason, I will be supporting Sen. DeMint's amendment and will not be requesting earmarks this year for Illinois," the statement added.