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Congressional Republicans focus on an earmark ban that could hurt Hawaii projects

By Herbert A. Sample

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 1:30 p.m. HST, Nov 17, 2010


As Republicans in Washington coalesce around a ban on congressionally directed spending — otherwise known as "earmarks" — tremors are being felt all the way in Hawaii.

Starting next year, appropriations bills that are approved by the Republican-controlled House are unlikely to contain any earmarks. The Senate GOP caucus yesterday approved its own two-year moratorium.

That could leave earmarks sponsored by Senate Democrats — and particularly Hawaii's Sen. Daniel Inouye, the Senate Appropriations Committee chairman — in a precarious position.

And that means the gravy train for Hawaii, which over the years has received hundreds of millions of dollars in earmarks, may soon be severely curtailed or even eliminated.

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