GOP Leaders Expand Earmark Ban to Include Military Projects

Posted March 24, 2010 at 2:55pm

Updated: 4:22 p.m.

House Republican leaders have expanded their unilateral earmark ban Wednesday to also prohibit military construction projects, after first suggesting these projects would be allowed.

Earlier this month, the Republican Conference agreed to a one-year earmark moratorium for this year’s appropriations bills, but Armed Services ranking member Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) issued guidance March 17 indicating that military construction projects would not be covered under the ban if they were already part of the military’s “future years defense plan.”

Acting on McKeon’s guidance, Rep. Bill Young (R-Fla.) submitted an earmark request for a military base in Tampa, Fla., to speed up a construction project there, and his name was included on a list of earmark requests released by the Appropriations Committee on Wednesday morning.

In a revised guidance dated March 22, McKeon reversed course, saying, “Since we now have confirmation that military construction projects included by member request will be included in the transparency tables published by both the Appropriations Committee and the Armed Services Committee, Ranking Member McKeon believes Republican Members should withdraw any pending request” for a military construction project.

Advised of the new guidance, Young withdrew his request Wednesday afternoon.