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House Republicans Vote Against Banning Earmarks: 'Shameful Display of Swamp Politics'

Carolyn Kaster

With Republicans officially in control of the House for the 118th Congress, there's been a hope for change, including the calls to ban earmarks. Yet on Wednesday, House Republicans voted on many changes to the party's rules, which included banning earmarks, something they failed to do.


The vote to do so, in fact, which came via a motion by Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA), failed "resoundingly," as Thursday's Punchbowl News newsletter put it. The vote, the only recorded one, came down to 158-58-1. 

In a strongly worded statement for Townhall, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) called it "a shameful display of swamp politics" to describe how "an embarrassingly large majority of the House Republican Conference voted against my friend Rep. Tom McClintock’s amendment to ban earmarks next Congress." 

As Roy described earmarks, they "are the currency of corruption in Washington, D.C. They lead to backroom deals that incentivize Members to vote for massive spending blowouts, fund woke and wasteful projects like LGBT Centers and Diversity and Inclusion programs, and allow Members to steer taxpayer dollars to pet projects for their own personal gain."

Speaking to the history of the back-and-forth on earmarks, Roy also pointed out that "Congress was right to ban them in 2011 and House Republicans were dead wrong to revive them last year."

While they may remain for the foreseeable future, Roy doesn't appear to deterred when it comes to someday getting rid of them. "I will continue to fight for the American taxpayer and oppose earmarks until they are dead and buried for good," the congressman concluded in his statement. 


The newsletter did highlight other votes that got through, though as mentioned, they were not recorded. They include:

  • A proposal from Roy "to require the leadership to give five-day’s notice to any bills being considered under fast-track suspension rules in the House."
  • Another Roy proposal "that would require the Rules Committee to consider amendments that have the support of 20% of the conference also passed by voice vote," though the newsletter mentioned it's "a largely symbolic amendment" and "Roy had initially called for the threshold to be much lower."
  • A proposal from Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) "that expedites internal party motions in the House Republican Conference."
  • A motion from Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) "to require a party meeting before consideration of major pieces of legislation also passed by voice vote."

Rep. Roy has been quite vocal when it comes to races for House Republican leadership. 


He was among those calling for a delay in such leadership votes and recently nominated Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) for speaker. Current House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was also nominated, and on November 15 received more votes than Biggs, with the breakdown being 188-31.

That number is still below the necessary 218 votes for McCarthy to become speaker, and recent reports indicate an increasing amount of Republican defections. 

Making the matter even more newsworthy is that Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE) has expressed working with Democrats to find a pick for speaker if McCarthy does not get enough votes. 

Bacon just recently doubled down on that position, per POLITICO's Jordain Carney, resulting in a response from Roy over Twitter that did not mention Bacon by name, but left nothing to the imagination. He had also retweeted Russ Voght raising the alarm about Bacon. 


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