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LeMieux: Earmarks "are the gateway drug to enormous debt"

Florida Sen. George LeMieux joined a group of fellow Republicans today to call for a 1 year moratorium on congressional earmarks -- and passage of a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.

"Washington is addicted to spending and earmarks are the gateway drug to enormous debt," said LeMieux, who earlier this year announced he wouldn't seek any earmarks during his term. 

The Hill notes a similar earmark moratorium was defeated earlier this year by a 29-71 vote in the Senate. President Obama supported such a moratorium during the 2008 campaign. Earmarks -- the special projects either pilloried or eagerly sought by members of Congress -- account for less than 1 percent of the federal budget.