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House GOP votes down earmark ban proposal

House Appropriations Chair Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., brought back the practice with increased transparency rules and a cap at 1 percent of annual discretionary spending. 

Nonetheless, there’s still a large and vocal element within the conference opposed to earmarks, and a pre-Thanksgiving vote on McClintock’s amendment was postponed so members could have more time to deliberate.

“The new Republican majority needs to make a dramatic, concrete and credible statement that business as usual as Washington is over,” McClintock wrote in a Washington Times op-ed published last week. “Is there a more powerful statement it can make than to swear off the wasteful and corrupting practice of congressional earmarking?”  

Since the rule change discussion began earlier this month, there’s been a concerted push by conservative activists to pressure Republicans to back the amendment.

“Earmarks are one of the most corrupt, inequitable, and wasteful practices in the history of Congress,” several organizations including the Club for Growth, Americans for Tax Reform, FreedomWorks, National Taxpayers Union, Heritage Action, Citizens Against Government Waste and more wrote in a Tuesday letter to House GOP lawmakers. “Supporting Rep. McClintock’s amendment is your first opportunity to demonstrate to taxpayers that the election of a Republican majority in the House will be accompanied by a serious effort to restore and maintain fiscal responsibility.”