Would McCain Eliminate Earmarks That Fund Drug Eradication In Colombia?

On ABC’s Good Morning America, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) explained his recent trip to Colombia by noting his concern over “the continued flow of drugs from Colombia through Mexico into the United States.” “Drugs is a big, big problem in America,” said McCain. Watch it:

But as Politico’s Avi Zenilman points out, McCain’s dedication to fighting the “continued flow of drugs from Colombia” creates a “sticky problem” with his pledge to end earmarks as president.

The McCain campaign has previously pointed to the Congressional Research Service’s (CRS) definition of earmarks when explaining how it would cut $65 billion in earmarks from the federal budget. But as Center for American Progress Action Fund Senior Fellow Scott Lilly pointed out in April, CRS’s definition includes some foreign aid to countries like Israel and Colombia:

The answer is that there is very little that CRS counts as earmarks above and beyond those found by OMB or Taxpayers for Common Sense that McCain would want to be associated with cutting. Assistance for Israel is only the most obvious example. It is doubtful that McCain would choose to start his presidency by terminating drug eradication funds for Colombia, the long standing assistance program to Egypt and Jordan, or humanitarian aid to Haiti.

When pressed by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos about how his budget plans suggest he would cut aid for Israel, McCain said “Of course not. I’m not cutting aid to Israel.”

Is his position the same for Colombia’s drug eradication funds? If so, this is just another example of how McCain’s budget proposals are a “fantasy war on earmarks.”

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