From NBC's Mark Murray
Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh (D) opposed yesterday's $410 billion omnibus spending bill because it was "bloated" and included $7.7 billion in earmarks. "At a time when so many American families are tightening their belts to make ends meet, Congress should be as equally committed to living within its means," he said in a statement.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called the spending bill a "missed opportunity" and urged President Obama to veto it. "The bill costs far too much for a government that should be watching every dime," he said.
And Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe (R) said in opposition to the legislation: "Each and every time, whether a Republican or Democratic initiative, I have refused to go along with big government spending or big government solutions."
But as it turns out, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense, Bayh had four solo earmarks attached to his name in the legislation, worth $2.7 million; McConnell had 36 totaling $51 million; and Inhofe had 34 earmarks worth $53 million.
Indeed, of the 35 U.S. senators who opposed the omnibus spending bill last night -- in the form of a "no" on the cloture vote -- 28 of them had solo earmarks in the legislation.
In total, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense, these 28 senators had a combined 307 solo earmarks totaling nearly $240 million. The breakdown is below.
When First Read asked Bayh's office why he opposed the legislation yet had earmarks in it, spokesman Eric Kleiman replied, "Bayh ranks 78th in total earmarks in the omnibus bill. He was also one of only two Dem senators to vote for the McCain amendment last week to strip all earmarks from the bill, even his own."
Kleiman added, "As the recession has deepened in the last year, Sen. Bayh believes Congress should show faith with the American people and demonstrate the federal government is capable of living within its means."
Inhofe spokesman Matt Dempsey said his boss' opposition had nothing to do with the earmarks but rather the overall spending in it. "I don't think you will find too many senators, Republican or Democrat, who have voted against every single billion dollar bailout/stimulus bill in the Senate as Sen. Inhofe has done," Dempsey said. "Sen. Inhofe's reputation for being a staunch conservative and fighter for Oklahoma taxpayers remains safely intact."
McConnell's office had a similar response -- he opposed the overall spending in the legislation. "Republicans in the Senate tried to cut the bill's cost. Our ideas would have saved billions of taxpayer dollars. Unfortunately, every one was turned aside," McConnell said on the floor yesterday.
Here's the breakdown:
Barrasso (4 earmarks, $2.7 million)
Bayh (4 earmarks, $1.2 million)
Bennett (23 earmarks, $18 million)
Brownback (21 earmaks, $12 million)
Bunning (5 earmarks, $735,000)
Burr (3 earmarks, $1.3 million)
Chambliss (7 earmarks, $4.3 million)
Collins (1 earmark, $380,000)
Corker (1 earmark, $760,000)
Cornyn (5 earmarks, $2.5 million)
Crapo (1 earmark, $100,000)
Enzi (5 earmarks, $1.7 million)
Graham (14 earmarks, $9.5 million)
Grassley (8 earmarks, $350,000)
Gregg (19 earmarks, $10 million)
Hatch (7 earmarks, $700,000)
Hutchison (35 earmarks, $9.9 million)
Inhofe (34 earmarks, $53 million)
Isakson (2 earmarks, $1.4 million)
Kyl (3 earmarks, $5 million)
Lugar (10 earmarks, $3.3 million)
Martinez (8 earmarks, $18.8 million)
McConnell (36 earmarks, $51 million)
Roberts (11 earmarks, $2.2 million)
Sessions (12 earmarks, $4.3 million)
Thune (6 earmarks, $4.3 million)
Vitter (16 earmarks, $4 million)
Voinovich (6 earmarks, $13.5 million)