House Republican Conference Votes to Bring Back Earmarks

Source: Roll Call | Jennifer Shutt and Lindsey McPherson | March 17, 2021

Bipartisan support now in the House for local project funding, as well as Senate Democrats; Senate Republican backing unclear

House Republicans lifted their decade-old ban on earmarks Wednesday during a closed-door vote, freeing up members to request “congressionally directed spending” under the new process Democrats announced last month.

The vote ends weeks of internal debate among GOP lawmakers about whether the party should participate in the process that will kick off later this year when the House Appropriations Committee begins drafting fiscal 2022 spending bills.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters that “members want to have a say in their own district” and that many Republicans have “a real concern about the administration directing where money goes.”

The House Republican Conference rules change, authored by Alabama’s Mike D. Rogers, includes several elements outlined by Democrats when they announced a restoration of earmarking last month.

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