Inouye Reluctantly Announces Earmark Moratorium

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate's foremost champion of "earmarking" pet projects back home has reluctantly joined President Barack Obama and Capitol Hill Republicans in banning them for the next two years.

Hawaii Democrat Daniel Inouye, the longest-serving senator and chairman of the goodie-dispensing Appropriations Committee says he still backs earmarks but that "the writing is on the wall" after Obama promised in last week's State of the Union speech to veto any bills containing earmarks. House Speaker John Boehner had already orchestrated an earmark ban in the House.

Inouye is an avid user of earmarks, sending hundreds of millions of dollar back to Hawaii for new roads, grants to local police departments and community development funds, among other things. As chairman of the committee, Inouye said he won't accept earmark requests.