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House GOP Considers Rules Package

The House Republican Conference was set to vote on whether to restore earmarks on Thursday as part of considering the House Rules for the 113th Congress, but it was spared from having to do so when the proposal’s champion pulled his plan.

Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, was set to offer his amendment to allow some earmarks, just as he did in November to House GOP rules, according to documents obtained by CQ Roll Call. His amendment would have exempted from the definition of earmarks any measure that funds a federal, state or local governmental entity as long the measure does not increase the appropriations amount allocated by the Budget Committee.

Young pulled a similar amendment at the behest of leaders in November. His spokesman, Michael Anderson, said, “Congressman Young refiled the amendment before the deadline, but at this time will not be offering it at today’s conference meeting. However, he has spoken with [the speaker] about how to move forward on redefining earmarks to allow members to provide for their communities in a fiscally responsible manner.”

House Republicans will consider a total of 32 amendments, including two that would establish new committees. Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana is offering an amendment that would create a Select Committee on Welfare Reform while Rep. Frank R. Wolf of Virginia wants to create a House Select Committee on the Terrorist Attack in Benghazi.

Rep. Scott Garrett of New Jersey plans to offer an amendment that would require each member who offers a bill to read aloud on the House floor the specific article, section and clause or amendment of the Constitution that authorizes the member to offer the bill.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, meanwhile, will offer an amendment that would abolish term limits on the Budget Committee. Chaffetz sits on the committee, which limits its members to not more than four Congresses in a period of six successive Congresses.

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