House Republicans voted Wednesday to end their conference-wide ban on earmarks, restoring GOP support for pork-barrel spending that directs money to pet projects in home districts.
The resolution was passed during the GOP’s weekly conference meeting. The vote was 102-84 in favor of restoring earmarks and was conducted by secret ballot, so voters will not know which Republicans voted to bring back pork spending.
In 2010, House Republicans passed a moratorium on earmarks in their conference by voice vote, to show they were serious about cutting spending ahead of the midterm elections that year. Controversies like the wasteful $400 million “bridge to nowhere” in Alaska fueled Republican campaign promises decrying federal spending and promising reform.
After the 2010 Tea Party wave election handed the GOP control of the House and made Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) House speaker, Republicans pledged to hold a vote banning earmarks.
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