Newspaper article Roll Call

House Republicans Will Consider Bringing Back Earmarks : Roll Call News

Newspaper article Roll Call

House Republicans Will Consider Bringing Back Earmarks : Roll Call News

Article excerpt

The House Republican Conference will vote Thursday on whether to bring back some earmarks in the 113th Congress.

Rep. Don Young of Alaska, a longtime supporter of earmarks, will offer an amendment at the House GOP organizational meeting that would change the rules of the GOP Conference to allow members to bring earmarks with some conditions.

The rules would ban earmarks, "except if the recipient of the earmark is the Federal Government, a State, or a unit of local government, the Member sponsoring such earmark is identified, the earmark is initiated in committee, and the earmark falls within the applicable section 302(a) allocation," according to a summary of the amendment shared with Roll Call.

"He's always been a supporter of earmarks," a Young aide said. "It's Congress' job to appropriate money and the congressman doesn't believe that agencies are on the ground enough and are able to see the communities' needs."

Rep. Tim Scott, the GOP member of leadership from the class of 2010, said the amendment stands little chance of passing but that eventually, he could see the definition of earmarks changing.

"We're probably a Congress or two from being able to re-evaluate it honestly without too much thought being given to us trying to bring back pork barrel spending," the South Carolinian said.

The conference will meet at 2 p.m. to vote on the amendment and a few others that would change the rules of the GOP Conference for the next Congress.

On the heels of a competitive campaign season for elected leadership, Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla., will offer an amendment that would ban members from campaigning for elected leadership spots until 90 days before a general election.

"Soliciting for or giving a pledge of support prior to 90 days before the date of a general election shall be considered a breach of a Member's personal honor," the amendment reads.

The conference will also vote on a change to Republican term limits. An amendment from Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia would ensure that time spent as a ranking member of a committee or subcommittee would count only as half the time toward the mandatory three-term limit. …

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