This week U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe reportedly was the only member of the Senate’s Republican caucus voting against a moratorium on earmarks — the process by which members of Congress designate federal spending on specific projects in their states and districts. Sen. Lisa Murkowski missed the vote because she’s in Alaska awaiting the conclusion of her re-election race but says she would’ve voted against the ban if she had been around.
As he’s explained many times, Inhofe believes the earmark moratorium is a lot of hot air over a relatively small amount of money (2 percent to 3 percent of total federal spending). And besides, he argues, the legislative branch is constitutionally empowered to appropriate funds. So, no, he’s not concerned about being a lone wolf on earmarks.
Nor on other stuff, either. He was an early opponent to the Obama administration’s cap-and-trade bill and his stalwart crusade against anti-global warming measures has earned plenty of bile from advocates. No matter. One of Inhofe’s favorite stories is about how he jetted to last year’s big climate change conference in Denmark, basically parachuting into Copenhagen for a couple of hours to be a one-man band in opposition — surrounded by a sea of people who didn’t agree with him. You need a tough hide to play the role of a voice crying out in the wilderness. Inhofe’s most certainly is.