Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Demint turns his back on jobs in South Carolina to lead anti-earmark movement

Jim DeMint's ambition to lead a National movement to further impoverish the middle class has him turning his back once again on his own struggling State of South Carolina. His demagogic anti-earmark campaign which everyone acknowledges will make only a microscopic dent in government spending threatens the development of the Charleston Ports: one of the only job producing bright spots in the State that ranks 4th in unemployment. According to the South Carolina State Ports Authority, container volume increased 17.5% for the year 2010.

DeMint wins earmark freeze
Elimination of funds could hurt Charleston port improvement

By JAMES ROSEN and DAVID LIGHTMAN - McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint won one of the biggest legislative victories of his career Monday when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell agreed to the South Carolina Republican’s demand for a freeze on spending earmarks.

But DeMint’s stance could hurt the State Ports Authority’s ability to fund a study on improving the Charleston port.

McConnell made his concession a day before DeMint, overwhelmingly elected to his second term two weeks ago, had vowed to force incoming Senate Republicans to hold an internal vote on the earmark moratorium.

The two senators have clashed repeatedly over spending bills and other GOP priorities, but DeMint commended the Kentuckian’s move Monday.

“Senator McConnell’s support for the earmark moratorium demonstrates the kind of bold leadership our party needs,” DeMint said. “His statement today and tomorrow’s vote to enact the moratorium will send a clear signal to voters that Republicans heard the message of the last election.”

An earmark ban could imperil funding for dozens of key projects in South Carolina, among them the U.S. Corps of Engineers funding of a study on deepening the Charleston port.

State and local port officials say South Carolina stands to lose millions of dollars to other East Coast states with harbors deep enough to accommodate a new generation of larger cargo ships.

Halimah Abdullah contributed to this account

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