This past Thursday, 72 Republicans introduced a resolution to establish a Joint Select Committee on Earmark Reform. I wonder why they never considered doing that while they were in control of Congress for the past 6 years? The committee would be bicameral and bipartisan - though no Democrats were asked to cosponsor the bill.
The White House's Office of Management and Budget has identified over 12,000 "earmarks" introduced this year, which would cost almost $25 billion in total to fund. That's all deficit spending. And many legislators like it that way. According to this Christian Science Monitor article:
Members are afraid to run afoul of the powerful Appropriations Committees in both the House and Senate. Those few members who have sponsored amendments to strip earmarks say they get a lot of heat from their colleagues.
"It's been a real mixed bag," says first-term Sen. Jim DeMint (R) of South Carolina.
"I've never had so much attention and adoration outside of Washington – I get standing ovations when I talk about earmarks. But I have a lot of good old friends who are mad at me in the Senate," he says of his fellow GOP senators.
If it ends up being a good bill, I hope Democrats sign on, too. I don't think it was introduced for selfless, non-partisan reasons, though.