Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Wednesday persuaded GOP lawmakers to postpone a vote on a measure to bring back legislative earmarks.
The House Republican conference was set to vote on an amendment to the House GOP rules that would allow lawmakers to direct pieces of spending for pet causes in their districts, under certain circumstances.
Republican Reps. John Culberson (Texas), Mike Rogers (Ala.) and Tom Rooney (Fla.) filed the amendment, which would have been voted on through a secret ballot during the GOP leadership elections on Wednesday. Ryan convinced his colleagues to postpone the vote until the first quarter of 2017.
“After a long debate, it was clear there’s a lot of pent up frustration with ceding spending authority to the Executive Branch,” said one source in the room. “Based on the comments by members, it was likely that an earmark amendment would have passed. Ultimately, the speaker stepped in and urged that we not make this decision today.”
“[Ryan] said we just had a ‘drain the swamp’ election and cannot turn right around and bring back earmarks behind closed doors,” the source continued.