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.).
Leaders from military and veterans service organizations joined Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Kelly Ayotte , R-N.H., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., at a press conference to urge the Senate to replace a provision in the budget proposal that cuts retirement benefits for veterans. Wicker, Ayotee, and Graham earlier called for a bipartisan solution to replace the $6.3 billion in cuts to military retiree benefits.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.