House Republicans vote to support earmarks

House Republicans passed a resolution during their conference meeting on Wednesday in support of restoring earmarks.

The House GOP's 102-84 vote comes as Democrats gear up to revive the practice, which allows members to secure federal funding for specific projects.

Republicans in the lower chamber stopped the practice in 2011, citing a number of controversies stemming from earmarks including the so-called Bridge to Nowhere and the Jack Abramoff scandal.


The effort to support their restoration with a number of reforms — including a requirement that they must be publicly disclosed with written justification and members can't have a financial interest — was led by Rep. Mike RogersMichael (Mike) Dennis RogersCongress brings back corrupt, costly, and inequitably earmarks Biden defense budget criticized by Republicans, progressives alike Biden's prediction on Afghanistan withdrawal spurs doubts MORE (R-Ala.).

Proponents argue that Congress handed too much power to the executive branch by eliminating earmarks, arguing they are needed to restore the power of the purse.

“I’m a yes. With the changes with transparency ... you have support in writing from local units of government. I think that's a fair approach,” said Rep. Fred UptonFrederick (Fred) Stephen UptonOvernight Energy: Michigan reps reintroduce measure for national 'forever chemicals' standard |  White House says gas tax won't be part of infrastructure bill Mark Ruffalo joins bipartisan lawmakers in introducing chemical regulation bill Michigan reps reintroduce measure for national 'forever chemicals' standard MORE (R-Mich.).

Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus were adamantly opposed to bringing earmarks back, alleging they are “legislative bribery” and a path to corruption.

“I think we've got $30 trillion in debt and people are tired of the swamp and the GOP should be ashamed of itself, if it jumps headfirst right back into the swamp,” Rep. Chip RoyCharles (Chip) Eugene RoyUS Chamber enters hostile takeover by crony capitalists Exclusive: Biggs offers bill banning federal vaccine passports Both parties look to recruit Asian American candidates as violence against group increases MORE (R-Texas), a caucus member, said.