Politics

House Republicans pass moratorium on earmarks

House Republicans approved a measure to impose a moratorium on earmark spending, following their counterparts in the Senate who voted overwhelmingly on a similar proposal earlier this week.

Wisconsin Rep.-elect Sean Duffy proposed the measure, which imposes a non-binding restriction on Republican House members, and it was approved unanimously Thursday morning in a closed-door meeting, according to Speaker-elect John Boehner of Ohio.

“Earmarks have become a symbol of a Congress that has broken faith with the people,” Boehner said in a statement. “This earmark ban shows the American people we are listening and we are dead serious about ending business as usual in Washington.”

Republicans are using the voluntary moratoriums passed this week to criticize Democrats, who have yet to impose restrictions on their members. There are only two Democratic senators who support a bill to ban earmarks, and Majority Leader Harry Reid has been outspokenly against halting the practice, calling it “a tremendous step backwards” that “just gives more power to the executive.”

Republicans have said that they will tolerate the use of earmark spending in “emergency” situations when they have to spend quickly on natural disasters in their home districts.

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