The Times discusses the corporate earmark ban in this editorial.
The House ban was announced just days after the committee blithely pronounced the coincidence of generous defense contracts and political contributions as just that — a mere coincidence that does not “support a claim that a member’s actions are being influenced by campaign contributions.” The committee, notably, deep-sixed the recommendation from its new advisory panel, the Office of Congressional Ethics, to open a more thorough inquiry into two of the seven: Representatives Peter Visclosky, a Democrat of Indiana, and Todd Tiahrt, a Republican of Kansas.
Whether this embarrassment can be trumped by a last-minute earmark ban is doubtful. Senate Democrats instantly announced opposition to the House ban. That means, in final conference bills, corporate donor earmarks can be salvaged by grateful senators.