House Republicans will vote next week on whether to extend their earmark moratorium into the 112th Congress, according to a joint statement by the top two party leaders Friday night.
The current GOP ban on pork projects expires in March.
Presumptive Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and expected Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said their newly expanded ranks will vote on whether to extend a Conference-wide ban on earmarks and urged Democrats to impose their own ban.
“We welcome President [Barack] Obama’s remarks on earmark reform, and we call upon him to urge Congressional Democrats to hold a vote next week on a similar measure,” Boehner and Cantor said in the statement, referring to the president’s weekly radio address, which will air Saturday. “Furthermore, if the President is committed to real earmark reform, he could demonstrate that immediately by agreeing to veto any spending measure this year or next that includes earmarks.”
If House Republicans pass the measure it will only apply to their Conference, however both leaders have hinted in earlier statements that the ban could end up extended to the full House until the practice is reformed.
The joint statement is also a show of solidarity on an issue that had caused some awkwardness between the two GOP leaders over the past few weeks.
While the two leaders have had basically the same stance on earmarking, their timing in stating their respective opinions, up until now, has been different.
Before the midterms, Cantor called for a permanent moratorium on the earmark practice, while Boehner had initially said that incoming Republican Members would have to make that decision.
On Nov. 4, Boehner told Bret Baier on Fox News that the House would have a moratorium.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.