A day after House Democrats announced a ban on earmarks for private companies, their Republican counterparts hope to dramatically up the ante with a prohibition on all targeted spending projects.House Republican leaders plan to call for an immediate, across-the-board earmark ban during a special meeting of the GOP Conference on Thursday, according to a draft of a joint leadership statement obtained by Roll Call.Their proposed moratorium would include tax and tariff-related earmarks.We will support changing the official rules of the House Republican Conference to incorporate such a moratorium when a special conference meeting on the matter takes place Thursday, the release said. A majority of the Republican Conference must vote in favor of the proposal in order to change their internal rules. Republicans are scheduled to discuss the possibility of implementing the earmark ban at 9:30 a.m. Thursday in the Capitol Visitor Center. Republican leaders listed on the release include: Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio), Minority Whip Eric Cantor (Va.), Conference Chairman Mike Pence (Ind.), Policy Chairman Thaddeus McCotter (Mich.), Conference Vice Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.), Conference Secretary John Carter (Texas), National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas), Rules ranking member David Dreier (Calif.), Chief Deputy Minority Whip Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) and Republican Leadership Chairman Greg Walden (Ore.).
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.