Reid Dismisses Obama's Call for Ban on Earmarks

By Andrew Taylor | January 25, 2011 | 4:41 PM EST

Washington (AP) - Barack Obama's top ally in the Senate is rejecting the president's call for a ban on the practice of stuffing home state projects known as earmarks into spending bill.

Nevada Democrat says the president "has enough power already" and that Obama's embrace of an earmark ban promoted by Republicans is just a "lot of pretty talk."

Reid is a skilled practitioner of earmarking, in which lawmakers direct projects like new roads, grants to local police departments and community development grants to their states and congressional districts.

Obama has frequently said he opposes earmarks but he has repeatedly accepted them in larger spending bills. The earmark ban has been driven chiefly by House Speaker John Boehner, who vows not to send Obama any spending bills containing them.