House GOP to Push Ban on All Earmarks This Year

Posted April 21, 2010 at 1:30pm

House Republicans on Thursday plan to introduce a resolution to ratchet up the pressure on Democrats to join the GOP in a yearlong earmark ban.

The resolution, authored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and backed by House Republican leadership, will express a “sense of the House” that Democrats should implement an earmark moratorium and use the money that it saves to decrease discretionary spending. It will also call for establishment of a bipartisan, bicameral committee that would vet and overhaul “the budgetary, spending and earmark processes.”

Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Wednesday encouraged Members to sign on to the measure during a closed-door meeting of the Republican Conference, according to a GOP source inside the meeting.

“It’s time for us to do some offense,” Boehner said, according to the source. “As you know, Americans are deeply concerned about spending — and regardless of where you stand on earmarks, you know Americans see earmarks as a symbol of Washington’s out-of-control spending.”

House Democrats last month barred earmarks benefiting for-profit companies and have implemented other reforms to the earmark process during their tenure in the majority.

As a result, they have rejected Republican calls for a House-wide moratorium as a political ploy.

Boehner spokesman Michael Steel would not say when or whether the Minority Leader may try to force a vote on the resolution.

“Republicans should spend their free time persuading their members to support our permanent ban on for-profit earmarks,” said Doug Thornell, a spokesman for Assistant to the Speaker Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.).