A split House GOP Conference voted this week to overturn the ban on earmarks.
Republicans voted 102-84 on the measure sponsored by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), which is a much closer vote than leadership had anticipated.
The renewed tactic requires GOP lawmakers to give a justification for an earmark they wish to sponsor, and verify they have no financial incentive in the earmark.
Those who backed the return of earmarks claim it will give more power to Congress and act as a tool to control Biden.
Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) stated, “I voted yes. With the new transparency — you have support in writing from local governments — I think that is fair.”
However, House Freedom Caucus members say the measure will only lead to abuse and pointless spending.
GOP Rep. Chip Roy (TX) claimed, “We are $30 trillion dollars deep into debt, and Americans are sick of the swamp. Republicans should be ashamed if they go right back into the swamp.”
Now that the House has voted for earmarks to return, the Senate is deciding whether to do the same.
Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), an appropriations committee member, said, “There are some lawmakers who never saw the earmark world,” Capito said. “I think we will have a big debate on this.”
David Williams, the President of Taxpayers Protection Alliance, hit back against House Republicans’ actions. He said in a statement this week:
This is a shameful vote for the GOP. With this vote, the Republicans have given up on fiscal responsibility. Earmarks are corrupt handouts that burden taxpayers. Former Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) called earmarks the ‘gateway drug to a spending addiction.’
We ask Republicans to think about their voters and to keep fighting for their best interests instead of hindering them with more debt.
Williams added, “Republicans who voted for this should be ashamed and are of course more concerned about their own power rather than the well-being of America.”